Lexus is now expecting to sell around 300,000 vehicles in the United States, 10,000 more than it had forecasted early this year, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken told Automotive News. Lexus already sold 244,038 vehicles in the first 10 months of 2014; reflecting a 14-percent sales jump in a market that grew just 6 percent.
This means that Lexus has managed to trim the luxury sales gap with BMW (267,193 vehicles) and Mercedes-Benz (261,804 units), following results from the January-October period. Bracken remarked that Lexus is targeting to recover that US luxury sales throne it held from 2000 to 2010.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz both surpassed Lexus in the US sales race years ago, but the Toyota luxury brand is slowly but surely to regain its luster. In fact, Bracken did not vow to reclaim the crown this year or next, although he said that it is of Lexus’ interest to regain sales leadership.
He remarked that Lexus internally tracks retail registrations more closely than overall sales, since its fleet sales in the US are a few thousand loaner vehicles sold to Lexus dealers. He noted that in terms of retail sales in the first nine months of 2014, Lexus was second to BMW.
Bracken said the luxury brand will continue to broaden its lineup to hike sales volume. By next year, Lexus will have 11 model offerings from nine thanks to the addition of the new NX crossover and RC coupe – a situation that should allow Lexus outperform the market again, said Bracken.
He expects the overall auto industry in the US to sell between 16.5 million and 16.6 million vehicles in 2015.