Having witnessed a steady trickle of grey imports, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private (TKM ) has at last decided to tackle the issue by announcing plans to officially import Lexus vehicles. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC ), which operates in the country via the TKM production and sales joint venture, will bring in the first models during 2013.

“Lexus is a premium and reputed brand of Toyota. We will introduce the models of this brand in India in 2013,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor deputy managing director Sandeep Singh is quoted as saying by InAutoNews.

TKM, which is 89% held by TMC and 11% by India’s Kirloskar Group , is currently formulating strategies to market the cars, the newswire notes.

By contrast to TMC’s clearly cautious plans for the launch of its premium brand, BMW , Mercedes-Benz and Audi all have local assembly operations as a way of circumventing crippling import duties.

Lexus will have much in the way of fresh product for its debut in this high-growth market. The fourth generation GS sedan will be rolled out globally from February (2012) with the GS 450h will follow from April while replacements for the ES, IS and LS sedans are all expected during the next 12-18 months, as are mid-life updates for the GX and LX SUVs and the slow-selling HS hybrid sedan.

Author: Glenn Brooks