Comparing monthly sales of a new model with the maker's target is a popular pastime for Japanese market watchers. Little wonder, then, that Toyota is looking so pleased: Japanese sales of the Soarer (aka the Lexus SC430) kicked off on April 3 to reach 1,400 vehicles for the first month - seven times target, which led to an instant two-month waiting list and no need for the usual Western mutterings about available selling days, public holidays, etc.

Corporate Profile -

Toyota


US buyers liked the Lexus version of the all-new retractable tin-top convertible so much they placed 10,000 orders by the end of April.

At six million yen (about $US49,000) at home, the Soarer's price is relatively high, especially for Japan, so Toyota is pleased at its sales success in an otherwise sluggish market in which having exciting new product on tap is currently the only way to shift metal in decent volume.

About 30 percent of Japanese Soarer buyers are in their 50s and 90 percent of those are male. The most popular colour is white (35 percent), followed by silver (25 percent) and 50 percent, of the cars, are being ordered with run-flat tyres.

Quite different demographics apply to the butch-looking WiLL VS, also launched in April, and also making brisk sales though, in this case, initial monthly target was passed by just 100 vehicles to 1,600. Here, most buyers are young males in their 20s and 30s and the most popular body colour is dark purple.


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