Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited’s managing director Mr Naomi Ishii has noted that the Japanese automaker needs the Lexus luxury car brand to capture a pie of the high end luxury car market in India, which is currently dominated by the Teuton trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz, with Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo doing decent volumes too.
Mr Ishii’s exact statement on Toyota India considering the Lexus luxury car brand for India is as follows,
We see a lot of opportunity in India now. Given that the three German brands are doing well, I feel we need Lexus here.
For long, Toyota Kirloskar Motors has been talking about bringing the Lexus brand into India. However, the weak Indian rupee and the lack of a turbo diesel engine in the Lexus range of cars has stopped Toyota from going the distance and bringing the Japanese luxury car brand to Indian shores.
Given the fact that Toyota sells not one, but two hybrid cars in India – the Prius and Camry – the automaker could take the hybrid route with Brand Lexus. Lexus offers a range of hybrid cars and is all set to outfit its hybrid technology to large SUVs come 2016.
Hybrid cars promise better fuel efficiency than even diesel powered cars and Toyota’s dominance in hybrid car technology could help it offset the lack of a diesel engine on the Lexus range of cars. Also, hybrid cars emit lower tail pipe emissions, making them more environment friendly than petrol and diesel engined cars.
Also, Toyota assembled the Camry Hybrid in India, through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route. A similar assembly process for brand Lexus is what will allow Toyota to price the luxury range of cars competitively, in other words close to the prices commanded by cars of the German marques. Importing the Lexus range through the completely built unit (CBU) route is bound to jack up the price to levels that will make the cars un-competitive in the Indian luxury car market.