For those not already in the know, Lexus, Toyota’s luxury marque didn't originate in Japan. In fact, the upscale marque developed for the U.S. market was just introduced in the company's homeland last year. And the brand is floundering.
According to BusinessWeek, Lexus sales have
been slower than expected. The brand is expected to sell 40,000 vehicles this year, short of the originally projected
50,000 to 60,000.
Analyst believe the company's troubles stem from its foreign competition launching new vehicles earlier than the brand's debut in the country. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz debuted the new 3-series and E280, respectively, before Lexus of Japan could open its doors. Worse, there are concerns that the company's GS and SC models are ‘too sporty’ for Japanese taste.