Toyota luxury brand Lexus has decided to defer its entry into India, already home to rival luxury brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz which all assemble locally.
Lexus had earlier planned to launch in India by 2013, the The Times of India reported.
Sandeep Singh, deputy MD of Toyota’s Indian subsidiary Toyota Kirloskar Motors, confirmed to the paper the luxury brand would not be making a debut any time soon.
"It will not be in 2013," Singh said, blaming a variety of negative factors for the decision. He said import duty on fully-built cars is very steep in India especially after it was raised in the union budget last year.
"This is a major hurdle as far as getting in Lexus is concerned as we have plans only to import the vehicles and not make them here."
A sharp depreciation of the rupee was another factor.
"The fall in rupee has also emerged as a major challenge and just does not make it right to import the cars."
The paper noted that Mercedes in 2012 saw sales fall for the first time since 2009 last year while BMW has also been under pressure.
Toyota’s plans to launch Lexus in India were announced by a senior company official during the Tokyo show in late 2011. The company had planned separate dealerships for the brand as in most markets.
Lexus was launched originally in the US in 1989 and its cars are made at four plants in Japan and one in Canada.