F Sport specification made a Geneva debut on facelifted RX450h

F Sport specification made a Geneva debut on facelifted RX450h

Lexus is working on its personality to present itself as an alternative to the German premium car manufacturers rather than trying to be a direct rival.

The head of the brand's European operations, Paul Van Der Burgh, said: "We are also working on giving our cars better driving dynamics through chassis and engine tuning.

"You will also see our vehicles taking on more of the visual cues we see in the CT200 which has been a very important car for us in Europe giving us a presence we have not had before in the smaller premium segment.

"This car has allowed us to boost sales despite the supply problems we have had over the past 12 months following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand.

"We have got through those problems and we are now in a good place with growth in Europe faster than anywhere else."

Lexus sold 44,000 cars in Europe last year, over 13,000 of those in Russia. Also key to growing the brand has been a decision by Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda to be the luxury brand's head.

Van Der Burgh added: "Until about a year ago there were a number of Toyota executives with responsibilities for Lexus with no single figurehead. That has now changed giving us much shorter reporting lines direct to Toyoda."

With more new models on the way, Van Der Burgh is also confident of a further boost in sales.

"In Europe this year we will get the new RX450h, new GS - and the LXC for Russia and Ukraine. There will also be two more models which we are not ready to talk about yet."