Lexus only recently lost their position as America’s top luxury car manufacturer in 2011, after it lead the segment for an amazing total of 11 years. The head of Toyota’s Lexus division, however is not worried.
According to recent reports, the Japanese company expected to lose market shares, because of shortage of component supplies halting their production output. The general manager of Lexus, Mark Templin, was quoted as telling Detroit News, after unveiling their concept hybrid – LF-Gh, that they have been telling people for the 11 years of their No.1 position that this is never what they set out to accomplish.
He added that it is not about what they are at present. For them, it is all about producing quality cars. In 2011s first three months itself, the Japanese company lost some of their positions to BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In addition to this, they also saw a decrease in sales figures by 4 per cent in 2011s first quarter.
Templin also explained that because of the new US regulations in fuel efficiency, the luxury car market in US has changed and continues changing. Some of their competitors do not have the same power and might that Toyota has behind them. They resort to selling less expensive and smaller cars which churn out higher mpg and give more volume to meet US government regulations.
Auto manufacturers have been forced to increase the fuel efficiency of their cars by 30 per cent so as to meet new government regulations, which require 34.1 mpg level by 2016. Lexus, however does not have to oblige in building models which are fuel efficient to meet these new terms. Templin said that they do not plan on doing so. They can stick to building real luxury cars, which is what they plan on doing. For them, it is not only about the volume.
According to Templin, the future Lexus Grand Touring hybrid will represent their new face. He also clarified that Lexus is not planning on selling the concept LF-Gh model as they have just considered it for a design exercise.
Templin, however promises that a lot of the features found in this concept model can be expected in their future products as well and not before long.