Lexus India looks to increase customer base to de-risk business

Luxury carmaker Lexus is looking to increase its customer base in India, enhance sales infrastructure as part of its strategy to grow sales in the country which is expected to see the premium segment return to pre-Covid levels this year, according to a top company official. The company, which is the luxury car arm of Japanese auto major Toyota, completed six years in India earlier this month and now plans to solidify its position with several measures to bring in additional volumes and growth.

In an interaction with PTI, Lexus India President Naveen Soni said the firm intends to increase sales contribution from professionals like doctors, architects, lawyers, pilots and people working in corporates, among others, in order to de-risk the business.

Currently, a majority of the company sales in the country comes from people engaged in business activities, he noted. “Business class is the most important class which we serve in general.  There can be some impact on exporters and others due to global headwinds.  So we have to be cautious about growing the market towards professionals and others is the new challenge that we are taking up,” Soni said.

It is very important to de-risk the business by getting even more segments, and more and more people to try out the company’s products, he added. “To cater to people working in the corporate sector, we are getting into models like leading, subscription etc. So the idea is to let more and more people experience your product and take care of them,” Soni said.

When asked about company’s plans regarding enhancing the sales network, he noted: “We will have around 25-30 different kinds of outlets by the end of this year". The company currently has 19 sales outlets across the country.

He noted that the Indian market has huge potential for growth in terms of the luxury car segment. “This year, we are looking at a two-fold growth in terms of sales…It can help the Indian market to emerge as the top three markets for us in the Asia Pacific region,” he noted.

The Indian market is already among the top ten markets for Lexus in the region. Lexus India had reported a 76 per cent growth in sales in 2022 over 2021. The company, however, did not share absolute numbers.

Soni said the domestic luxury car segment is expected to record the best-ever sales figures this year, crossing the 40,000 units-mark achieved in 2018. “If that happens, the entire industry would benefit…The interest of the global players would be renewed in the market,” he said.

Further, Soni said: “If we are able to showcase the potential of the market, the strength of the dealer partners, the future growth potential, then you can ask for more resources from the head office and definitely make things different for our consumers.”

He noted that the current size of the luxury car market does not reflect the strength of the country’s economy. “The country aspires to be the third largest economy by 2030. But if you consider the luxury car market, we are nowhere near the global ranking,” he said.

Soni said to commemorate the company’s sixth year in India, the company has launched an initiative ‘Lexus life’ to offer privileges and experiences to its customers. Lexus India currently sells six models in the country, including the locally-produced ES 300h sedan. (PTI)