Toyota said on Friday it would start sales of its Lexus luxury brand cars in Japan by selling four new models from August 2005 at 180 showrooms nationwide. The company expects annual sales of 50,000 to 60,000 units initially with a future target of 100,000 units, according to Dow Jones.
The news agency said the introduction of the Lexus brand in Japan is an effort to recoup Toyota’s once-mighty presence in the domestic luxury car market by improving its competitiveness against European rivals. The same strategy was a success in the US where Lexus is now a well-established brand.
Lexus models are already sold in Japan but are badged as Toyotas. The Lexus RX300/330 sport utilty, for example, is sold as the Toyota Harrier and the top LS-series sedan is marketed as the Toyota Celsior.