'Lexus is undervalued by fleets, but I think the new RX300 will go a long way to correcting that,' said Lexus GB director Karl Schlicht. 'I am an American who has been in Britain for only two months, but it is already clear to me that crossovers and SUVs are the models that people want.
'These cars have taken over in the US and the same will happen here because they are so influential. There's no doubt the RX300 has the potential to redefine the luxury car segment and the whole Lexus business as well.
'It will become the cornerstone of our franchise in the UK and put an end to the way our brand is perceived by the fleet industry. We are not under pressure to achieve volumes. As we are a niche player, we are a low risk, safe investment. Lexus is also pretty stress-free where residual values are concerned.
'Our policy is not to force sales – we did that in North America and our residuals collapsed as a result – and though I aim to improve on the 1,700 RX300 sales we achieved last year, supply restrictions are likely to keep registrations of the new model down to little more than 2,000 this year.'