Toyota Motor Corp. expects its Lexus luxury division to post higher sales in the U.S. in 2013, despite the threat of increased taxes on the rich due to a federal budget deal, according to the brand's global marketing chief, Mark Templin. Lexus posted a 24-percent increase in sales in the US for the first 10 months of 2012.
In an interview with Bloomberg last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Templin said he expects that the brand will grow at least 10% in 2013. Templin also downplayed the effect of increased tax rates, saying that demand for luxury cars will grow faster than the pace of the industry.
Templin told Bloomberg that they are expecting to see “good consistent growth in the industry." Templin said that their wealthy clients “remained that way and they've been shown to be pretty resilient."
So far, discussions between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on avoiding the upcoming fiscal crisis – which refers to $607 billion in automatic tax hike and spending cuts due to take effect in January 2013 – are still on a logjam over tax rates for the top 2% of wage earners in the US. Toyota currently considers the US as the largest market for Lexus models.
In fact, sales in the US account for around half of Lexus’ global volume. So far, the auto industry is one of the sectors in the US with an optimistic outlook for this year, with sales growing around 14% for the first 10 months of 2012. According to the average of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, new car and trucks sales in the US may increase 12% in November 2012