NX may replace RX as best-selling Lexus nameplate globally

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 1, 2014

With thousands of orders already booked in Japan, the new Lexus NX compact crossover may dethrone the RX as the marque’s best-selling nameplate. Lexus started selling the NX in Japan on July 29, and has already booked 8,000 orders since, according to Lexus International Executive Vice President Mark Templin. Lexus was expecting initial monthly orders of 700.

Templin also disclosed that customer has booked a year’s worth of orders in Hong Kong and Taiwan with heavy orders being received in Europe, Russia and China. While Toyota will not start selling the NX in the United States until November, the carmaker said it already received some 5,000 orders.

Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said during the NX’s line-off ceremony in Japan that they are expecting to sell around 42,000 units in 2015.

With the high demand for the NX, Templin said that every market is exceeding its plan already. Some executives now see the NX as a possible threat to the larger RX crossover as the Lexus’ best-selling vehicle outside the US, Templin said, noting that the former is better suited to markets like China, Europe and Japan.

The RX is currently the luxury brand’s best-selling nameplate, delivering 140,700 units globally in 2013 -- 92,100 of which were sold in the US. It is also Lexus’ best-selling nameplate even outside the US. As for the NX, Lexus would have to deal with production capacity as it is currently building the compact crossover only at its Miyata site in Japan.

Toyota is targeting 80,000 units of annual output for the Lexus NX, but the Miyata site could still provide room for building 40,000 more. The plant could also allocate more capacity for the NX if Toyota cut production of the Lexus HS and the Sai hybrid.

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