Fleet News

New models on way as Lexus expands in executive sector

LEXUS is to launch up to six new models in the UK in the next three years, starting with the IS200 which goes on sale on May 20. From being a two-car company - GS300 and LS400 - the executive vehicle arm of Toyota will expand to encompass 'seven or eight' models.

According to recently appointed Lexus general manager Stuart McCullough, within four or five years, Lexus sales could increase from last year's record 3,287 to 15,000-20,000 units a year 'depending on how the prestige sector performs'. Leading the bid for growth and with the task of establishing Lexus in the UK is the IS200 - the company's new rival to the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Mercedes Benz C-class, Alfa Romeo 156 and the new Volkswagen Bora.

Lexus is also planning to import the 4x4 RX300 from the United States within the next 18 months and other models will follow into the prestige sector. However, crucial to the sales success of the company is to build the brand which has remained a well kept secret within the ranks of car manufacturing. In a bid to develop the marque, Toyota is in the process of spinning Lexus off as a separate brand and plans to give the company its own dedicated 55-strong dealer network.

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