Lexus sales up 68pc despite rising yen

Issac John
Filed on March 5, 2008

DUBAI - The surge in the exchange value of yen against dirham has resulted in a coresponding spike in prices of Toyota and Lexus cars, but had not impacted their sales volumes.

Simon Frith, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Motors, the exclusive distributor for Lexus in the UAE, said despite the appreciation of yen against dirham, Lexus sales have increased by a massive 68 per cent in 2007, a year which saw the launch of the LS 460 sedan.

Speaking at the launch of the new LX570, the Lexus flagship SUV, Frith said the new model marked another important milestone in the continued growth of the Lexus brand in the UAE, and will set new benchmark standards in luxury, advanced technology and driving pleasure in its class. “The Lexus brand has seen remarkable success and growth in the last few years. In 2006, our Lexus sales increased by 30 per cent over 2005 helped by the launch of the new ES350 and the introduction of the IS300.”

Tony Barlow, Senior General Manager of Sales & Marketing, said the grwoth in Lexus sales reflected the strength of the UAE economy, and the increasing affluence of its nationals and expatriate residents. Within the GCC market, the UAE is the largest market for large luxury SUVs. “With continued market growth, strong demand from affluent customers, an outstanding new model, and strong loyalty to the Lexus brand, we are forecasting to increase our LX 570 sales by four times compared with 2007, and to increase our total Lexus sales by around 40 per cent.”

Sadayoshi Koyari, Chief Engineer from the Lexus Development Centre in Japan, who led the team responsible for the development of the new LX570, said the key concept underlying the development of the LX570 was that it must be the definitive ‘Flagship Lexus SUV.’

“It had to be an SUV that would be superior to the competition on all key performance criteria, not just to the competitors’ current vehicles, but also to their future vehicles.”

He said the design of the LX 570 adopts many of the characteristics of the Lexus L-finesse design concept, representing simplicity and purity, intriguing elegance, and welcoming hospitality. The dynamic and commanding exterior design conveys the muscular strength and sense of security expected in large 4x4 SUVs.

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