To say the world's second most populous country has untapped potential is an understatement.
If world economics are kind of your thing, then you may know that China has recently passed the baton of rapid growth to India. With a booming technology sector that’s only now beginning to attract wealth into the country and ascend the standard of living, the demand for cars has grown, with car sales nearly doubling over the last ten years. This has also led to an uptick in sales of luxury vehicles to coincide with rising incomes. Lexus, looking to take full advantage of the blossom, has just made landfall in India.
Bloomberg covered the reveal and mentions that Lexus is barging into the world's second most populous country with three new models, the ES hybrid sedan, RX SUV, and the LX. These will be sold at dealerships that have been recently opened in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. “We see opportunities mapped to the remarkable growth the country is experiencing,” Akitoshi Takemura, said Lexus India senior vice president. “This is just beginning. We look forward to bringing more exciting products to India in the future.” Lexus is expected to reveal its range-topping LS 500 sedan next, but it’s worth noting that the brand’s introduction will not go without struggle.
Toyota had previously debuted the Lexus brand in China over 20 years ago only to encounter trouble as many Chinese still hold animosity towards the Japanese over war crimes committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Over in India, the Japanese automaker will need to climb another mountain, fighting the Germans for the money of the wealthy. Despite the fact that average income is going up in India, a 2013 survey found that per capita income is still only $1,500. Analysts, however, predict consumer spending in India to triple to $4 trillion by 2025. If Lexus manages to gain a foothold by cementing its brand prior to this explosion, it could be setting itself up for a period of boom.
For Toyota, the introduction couldn’t be more timely as forecasters are predicting a downturn in car sales for 2017 in the US, Europe, and Japan, so hopefully India can bolster the automaker while the US takes a break from record-breaking 2016.