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Toyota to unleash Lexus in India in 2013
Speaking to ZigWheels.com on the eve of the bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show, Yukitoshi Funo, Executive Vice-President, Toyota Motor Corporation said that the decision to launch Lexus in India had been taken and that the company was now moving to work out details on launch date, relevant models, operations and a dedicated sales network with its Indian affiliate Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd., to meet an early 2013 date to launch this iconic brand.
Toyota created the Lexus brand in 1989 and for much of it's two decades plus it has concentrated majorly in the US and only came to Europe in the first half of the last decade. In fact, it didn't launch Lexus in Japan till about two years ago, preferring to make this marque have a character and an appeal of its own. Given that the first Lexus models at launch were more than inspired by the German marques but with impeccable engineering and tremendous attention to detail, it is only in the past few years that Lexus has carved out a design language of its own. This coupled to its inherent strong traits now seems to make the marque one to reckon with, both in terms of luxury and performance on one hand as also prestige and style on the other.
While informing us about Lexus’s decision to enter the Indian luxury car market, Funo said that his company might have erred on the side of conservatism by not forecasting the sort of volumes the premium segment in India has been recording over the past four to five years. However, buoyed by the firm's legendary step-by-step approach to the Indian market, the future is now promising enough to not just launch Lexus but also step on the accelerator as regards Toyota's own model ambitions in this country.
While Toyota will add capacity to its existing plants in India to around 210,000 units per year by 2012, the pace of adding more capacity will be an annual affair. By 2013 output at its two units at Bidadi near Bangalore will be enhanced to 310,000 units. The bulk of this volume will be met by the Etios - Liva twins as well as by the ever green Corolla, but apart from these models, the best selling Innova will get a fresh make-over in early 2012 while the Fortuner SUV will get an automatic transmission. If that's not all, the Camry, which is presently sold under the CBU route will now be assembled in India using the CKD approach.
LEXUS GS450 H