Toyota Motor Corp.'s sales in China are predicted to increase by over 10 percent next year, Masahiro Kato, president of the company's China business, told reporters in Beijing. He also said that Toyota is expected to meet its 2010 target to raise deliveries by 13 percent to 800,000 vehicles.
Earlier this week, Toyota introduced the Lexus RX 270 sport-utility vehicle, the IS 250 sedan and the IS 250C convertible in China.
The rate of China's industry-wide passenger-car deliveries is at its slowest pace since March 2009 with a 13.6 percent increase in July. This is attributed to the drop in demand as inflation reduced disposable income and as government undertook some steps to cool the economy. The Daiwa Institute of Research said that sales could begin shrinking as soon as September.
Kato said that Toyota's August sales in China are better in July, when deliveries rose by 1 percent to 64,200 from a year ago.
Kato said that the recall of 75,552 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles in February to repair gas pedals that may stick has had "no major impact" on the Toyota brand in China. He even said that sales of the model were better than expected.
The concept behind the Lexus RX—which is a crossover between a luxury sedan and a sports utility vehicle – sprouted in 1993 when it was hypothesized by executives from Toyota Motor Corp and Toyota Motor Sales. Then in 1994, Toyota Motor Sales executives made an official proposal to create and develop the Lexus RX during a product planning meeting in Toyota City, Japan.
In December 1995, the final design of the Lexus RX – penned under the direction of designer Makoto Oshima – received the green light for production. In 1996, prototypes were created and were subject into various tests.
On February 9, 1997, Lexus unveiled a concept sport utility vehicle dubbed as the SLV – which means Sport Luxury Vehicle -- at the 1997 Chicago Auto Show. When it was unveiled, the SLV was tagged as a production-ready concept that married the attributes of a sedan, SUV and wagon, and sedan.
Toyota’s luxury arm launched the first Lexus RX in 1998, as underpinned by a unibody chassis. Boasting of an exterior design unusual for current four-door vehicles at that time, the Lexus RX comes with a high-ground clearance, elevated seating position and flexibility typical of SUVs. It also comes with performance, handling and sophistication of a luxury sedan.
The Lexus RX boasts of being the first SUV to be offered as a full hybrid in 2008. The RX proved to be one of Lexus’ best-selling models in Europe.