The CEO of Toyota Europe has admitted that this has been a "very tough" year for the luxury arm.
Matt Harrison, CEO of Toyota Europe, has admitted that 2022 has been a "very tough" year for Lexus. Exact sales numbers for the region have not been revealed, but the luxury automaker has said that its sales in 2022 to date have been "significantly lower" than last year. One of the main causes has been the ongoing war in Ukraine. Like many other automakers who pulled out of Russia, Lexus completely withdrew from Putin's country, and it had a much bigger impact on Lexus than it did on some rivals. Russia was the luxury manufacturer's largest market in the region, accounting for more than 25% of its sales in Europe.
In 2021, Lexus sold 72,441 vehicles in Europe, with 19,638 of those going to Russia, but in the first four months of 2022, Lexus only sold 1,738 vehicles in Russia. According to the brand, this represented a decline in the region of 76%. Although less significant, the company also temporarily suspended sales in Ukraine, although Harrison noted that sales had recently "successfully restarted" and its "resilient Ukrainian network" was now operating at 50% of last year's sales, reports the UK's Car Dealer.
"For Lexus, there's no denying that 2022 has been a very tough year, with sales significantly lower than last year," said Harrison.
However, the loss of Russian sales was not the only factor in Lexus suffering throughout the year.
Harrison continued: "There's been the conflict in the east [of Europe], and in the west, we have simply not been able to keep supply in line with demand due to parts shortages, and with all Lexus models produced for Europe in Japan, we've experienced significant production cuts, including on the new-generation Lexus NX - a model central to our growth aspirations this year."
Fortunately, the outlook seems optimistic. Harrison said that order banks "remain high," adding that he is "confident" the brand will return to growth when supply chain challenges ease up.
Lexus has endured a very difficult year, but with the brand continuing to score highly in customer satisfaction studies, we suspect the luxury automaker will continue to impress us for many years to come.