• Sep 19th 2006 at 7:32PM
  • 8
Tuesday's launch of Lexus' flagship LS460 in Japan marks a major milestone for Toyota's luxury brand, as the company tries to duplicate its success in the U.S. in other key markets, including its home turf of Japan and Europe.

After unveiling the LS460 in Tokyo, Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe told the assembled press that the new LS would lead the company's efforts to establish Lexus as a global premium brand, saying that he expects Lexus worldwide sales to surpass the 500,000 unit mark in 2007. Lexus sales in 2006 are expected to be in the neighborhood of 470,000 to 480,000 units.

Following on the heels of its Japanese market debut, the new LS460 will launch in North America in October.

So far the Lexus brand has failed to make a big impact in its home market, trailing well behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and things will get tougher in 2008, when Honda launches its Acura brand. However, with 9,000 pre-launch orders on the books for the LS460, and with the LS600h due out in the spring, there may be reason for optimism.

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Affluent asians are extremely brand conscious and are willing to overpay for a European brand. Most of the affluent asians view Lexus and Infiniti for what they really are - glorified Toyotas and Nissans.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What good is luxury without exclusivity?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Is mercedes a glorified dodge. Is s-class a glorified chrysler 300C.

      Is bentley a glorified Volkswagen phaeton. You bet!

      Is rolls-royce a glorified 7-series, you bet!

      • 9 Years Ago
      And I'm "Soooooo" sure that Whydrive can actually speak for the whole ENTIRE group of affluent asians just because he have one gigantic Ego that can perhaps rival that of Bill O'Reilly that Ego is telling WhyDrive that he/she can automatically represent the entire affluent asians.

      You sir/ma'am, are an ignorant asshole.

      • 9 Years Ago
      "Wonder why the GX and LX are left to suffer with incredibly long cycle times."

      That's because they're based on the Land Cruiser, and until the new one is released there won't be any new GX or LX models.
      • 9 Years Ago
      the lexus ls460 is a sweet model and i think it will take a stronger foothold in the home market. bravo for the pre-launch sales. The reason i found you is that Lexus is actually one of the most frequent cars that people get DUI offenses in. Check out my site for more information http://www.duiarresthelp.com thanks.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Perfection is relative... what is a perfect car? One that's reliable, one that handles and responds like a cheetah, or one that is pure luxury anemities? I don't think you can make a vehicle that performs with sports car'esque handling, but still be refined and tamed.

      Someone posted that no LX or GX because they're based on Land Cruiser frame. The LX is based on Land Cruiser, but GX is 4-Runner based. Both are probably not due for a refresh for two more years.
      • 9 Years Ago
      lexus has been doing well in NA, it just needs to hold a tight leash on volumes to control quality with ever increasing electronics.

      Lexus should focus on going up-market rather than relentlessly pursuing volumes. A 2% or 340,000 units at current annual rate should be the cap.

      Other than that, it should make serious efforts in europe, the biggest problem is lack of diesels in the line-up.

      Apart from 4-cyl nothing much has happened. Why not build V6, V8 and V12 diesels and pursue diesel-hybrid technology more vigorously.

      Diesel hybrids are best way to impress and win sales in diesel obsessed europe and clear california emissions simultaneously hitting two birds with one stone.

      Lexus should also focus on becoming more top heavy by building more variants of LS sedan and LX SUV.

      Wonder why the GX and LX are left to suffer with incredibly long cycle times.
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