Lexus, a brand that has a good amount of following in India although not officially available, a brand synonymous with wealth, a brand almost as famous as the soap whose name sounds somewhat similar and now as the three German automakers have reported good sales in India, Naomi Ishii, Managing Director for Toyota Kirloskar Motors, the Indian subsidiary for Toyota Motor Corporation, said-that they see a lot of opportunity in India now, given that the three German brands are doing well and feels Toyota should bring in the Lexus as the market is now ripe.
Mr Ishii who took over as the MD earlier this year, spoke about his dream of bringing Lexus to India in his second overseas assignment working for Toyota, being instrumental earlier in Lexus’s rollout in Europe. He added that, in order to be competitive, Lexus will have to set up local assembly operations to overcome the 100% import duty on luxury cars.
Mr Ishii wants Toyota to be different than their German competitors, however did not speak of a set strategy. Toyota did heavily rely on the Etios to succeed, however it hasn’t worked as anticipated. Currently Toyota has a 4-5%market share in the Indian Automobile industry estimated to be about 2.6 million units annually. Mr Ishii speaking about the Etios said the company wasn’t happy with sales and is now looking to push the brand in non-metros and regions where Toyota lacks presence, in addition the Company has recently launched the Etios Cross and the Eleventh iteration of the Corolla Altis, their best seller.
We feel the Etios would’ve sold better, if the speedo belonged in it’s right place and the interiors weren’t made for Mongolia.