Thursday, August 30, 2012
By Shilpa Chopra
Toyota could postpone Lexus car launch in India
Sensing the slowdown in the market as well as the stall over the India-EU FTA, most of the new car brand entries seem to have been postponed. Lexus from Toyota Japan is one of them. This high end luxury car maker was all set to be launched in India next year to take on BMW cars that have secured the top slot in the luxury car market. Lexus GS 450h will be one of the cars that was hoped to rock the luxury car segment but the plans seem to have received a jolt recently. Another big reason behind the delay in entry of Lexus cars in India is the government delay in implementing the Electric Mobility Mission 2020 following which electric cars and Hybrid cars in India were to be promoted over petrol or diesel cars.
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Lexus wishes to introduce Hybrid cars in the country as there is only one offering and that too by its parent – Toyota Prius. Since it is priced close to Rs 30 lakh, there is seldom a craze for this hybrid car. However, those who seriously want to contribute their part in environmental protection buy this car in a single look. Another important reason why Toyota could have postponed entry of Lexus cars in India is that it is believed that once the India-EU Free Trade Agreement is in place, the German luxury cars will be benefitted the most while Japanese car makers will not get those rebates. In such a case, German luxury cars such as the most popular car BMW 3 Series, BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes Benz C Class will get cheaper than the other cars in the segment. This will adversely affect the profits of the other car makers.
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The effective implementation of the Electric Mobility Mission 2020 seem to be conducive for Lexus entry in India as the Toyota owned car brand will be launching hybrid cars and not diesel cars. Thus where the EU-FTA will dampen its prospects, the Electric Mobility Mission 2020 can really enhance the prospects and viability of the entry of Lexus cars in the country.