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Lexus commits $230 million to retail upgrade

Luxury deal: Lexus is moving full steam ahead with its national retail upgrade, and will bring its network to 40 outlets by 2012.

Lexus will establish 11 new dealers by 2010 as part of massive retail upgrade

Lexus logo8 Apr 2008


AUSTRALIAN Lexus dealers will invest some $230 million in new and upgraded retail facilities over the next four years to drive the next stage of sales growth for the ambitious Japanese luxury brand.

Eleven new outlets by 2010 will represent the first half of the extensive growth plan, beginning with a new dealership at Wodonga that will follow the same ‘blueprint’ established by Australia’s first Lexus outlet to be modelled on the new-look model from Japan – the refurbished Lexus of Perth facility that opened two weeks ago.

As GoAuto reported back in October, Lexus Australia plans to almost double the number of dealers it currently has (22) to 40, but that will now happen earlier than expected – by 2012.

“Over the next two years, Lexus will add 11 dealers to its network,” said Lexus Australia chief executive John Roca (pictured) at last week’s LX570 launch. “The first of these will be in Wodonga, in regional Victoria.

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“The significance of this step is that Lexus will begin to expand its footstep regionally and across Australia. Lexus will concentrate on regional areas that offer high proportions of wealth and strategically increase the overall service reach for our customers. And this is significant not just for our SUV owners, but all of our Lexus customers.

“Furthermore, we've just begun a complete refresh of our corporate identity with all dealerships undergoing facility upgrades to bring it into line with our global partners - or Japanese model, if you like - the first of which, Lexus of Perth, was launched just last week.

“This, coupled with our long-term plan to bring our dealership network to 40 dealerships by 2012 and forthcoming product, will see Lexus continue to be a sales success in Australia.

“In fact, this commitment will see Lexus spend in the order of $230 million over the next four years on facilities and dealerships, providing Lexus with a strong backbone to support our hefty sales goal,” said Mr Roca.

Toyota’s premium vehicle division remains comfortably ahead of Volkswagen’s equally determined Audi marque in the local luxury-car stakes, but well behind Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Lexus sales have grown by about 1000 sales annually for the past four years in Australia and in 2007 it sold 8200 vehicles. Despite being into the last year of its model life, sales of the current RX were 15.7 per cent up on 2006 levels, while the new IS medium sedan has surpassed the RX as Lexus’ most popular model, attracting 4096 customers in 2007 (up 21.2 per cent).

Globally, parent compact Toyota says that with about 850,000 sales this year (25 per cent up on 2007, when it sold 680,000 vehicles), Lexus’ total sales volume will approach that of its German contemporaries – thanks largely to emerging luxury vehicle markets in China and Russia, and stronger sales in Europe and Japan.

“In the next two to three years Lexus will sell more than a million vehicles per annum, which will bring us the economies of scale and the ability to develop even more technology, Mr Roca told GoAuto.

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