Toyota Motor Corp. is seeking to increase Lexus’ global sales by about a quarter to 500,000 or 510,000 vehicles in 2012. These are levels that Lexus had reached before the demand had plunged due to the global financial crisis. Lexus sold 404,000 vehicles worldwide throughout the world last year, from peaking in 2007 with 518,000 units sold.
Lexus had been the top luxury brand in the U.S. for 12 years but it was beaten by BMW this year mainly because of the interrupted production as the result of the disaster in Japan last March.
However, another factor that also affected Lexus is its weak image in Europe and Japan, whose markets are dominated by German automakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. In order to take back the top spot, Lexus has decided to use a new look. Its upcoming models will have a front grille that’s shaped like a spindle. One example is the remodeled GS sedan that was recently launched in Japan last Thursday.
At the GS's unveiling in Tokyo, Kiyotaka Ise, chief officer of the Lexus group, said that the brand is hoping to achieve what rivals Mercedes, BMW and Audi have all accomplished; that is, of being “instantly recognizable on the road." This sales target was announced after Toyota raised its 2012 overall domestic sales forecast on Wednesday to 1.63 million vehicles, 6.5% higher than its previous forecast and 36% higher than last year.
It anticipates that global sales will increase by 21% to 8.58 million vehicles. Competition in the luxury car market is expected to intensify with the entry of new products from Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti and Honda Motor Co's Acura brands as part of their goal to further establish themselves as global brands.
Expressing a whole new generation in Lexus’ design philosophy is the all new Lexus GS. The fusion of distinct style and engineering functionality is effectively showcased by the precise sculpting of its new exterior. This brand new styling technique will soon find its way into future Lexus models.
This shift into a whole new design philosophy is effectively carried out on the details of the new Lexus GS such as its fins which are now incorporated into the tail lamps and the boot area design to help directing air around the car. Featured on the rear bumper are underbody airflow helpers/controllers in the likes of a diffuser and centered aero fins, which when combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps (considered as one of the new Lexus design highlights), gives the vehicle a high-performance appeal.
For a more efficient airflow throughout the car, its signature spindle grille with trapezoidal contours is integrated into its new aggressive front bumper. This distinctive Lexus design feature together with a pair of deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps boosts the vehicle’s confident and dynamic character making it even edgier and more enjoyable. To complete the look are headlamps which make use of a projector beam design giving the new Lexus GS a stronger, chiseled appearance with bonus superb lighting.
The new Lexus GS comes with tapered lower door sills and a short front overhang which provide a sense of fluidity and motion while its width-enhancing wheel arches contribute to the vehicle’s athletic stance and dynamic abilities. The side design of the new Lexus GS projects a spacious performance saloon image completed by a road-hugging stance.
A better and more refined paint technology has been developed to highlight even the subtlest bodylines and for a finely polished finish. Also, glass flakes have been incorporated into the coating to add a touch of high level spark to its new range of colors.