Lexus expected to hike sales in 2013 despite possible higher taxes

Article by Anita Panait, on December 4, 2012

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

Lexus presented its new GS in 2011 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which took place in California. The new Lexus GS, including its hybrid and F-Sport versions, will be out in the market in the UK in 2012.

This new Lexus promises a driving experience that’s more engaging, as well as an interior that’s more contemporary and more spacious, and a design that’s bolder. All of these herald a new chapter in the carmaker’s history.

Moreover, the new Lexus GS exudes an air of confidence, starting with its bold spindle grille that is set to be Lexus’ signature feature for future models. The chassis has been redesigned and now sports a strong and wide stance, signaling the new Lexus GS’ inspiring character. What’s more, the car rewards drivers by precise and crisp handling.

Engineers at Lexus challenged themselves to develop an interior environment that’s more spacious. They left the exterior dimensions of the new Lexus GS virtually unchanged yet increased the cabin and boot space so as to create an interior that’s richly appointed and that is able to transport passengers in comfort, no matter the distance.

For the UK, the Lexus GS will be available in GS 250 petrol engine and GS 450h full hybrid versions.

Topics: lexus, sales

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