Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hybrid model to help Lexus hit sales target

Lexus Malaysia is confident of achieving its sales target of 1,200 units of cars this year with the introduction of the new Lexus CT 200h.

The company said the hybrid model is set to capture about 80 per cent of the total sales for the brand here.

The CT 200h is Lexus' first full hybrid luxury compact car, which will be a main selling model and is expected to do well in Malaysia. This is in addition to the support from its two existing independent Lexus dealers in Penang and Johor.

UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd president Ismet Suki said Lexus Malaysia is upbeat on the revised number, which is more than a 100 per cent increase over last year's 431 units sold.

"It's a very ambitious sales number for Lexus Malaysia, and we are confident that such a figure is achievable following the introduction of the CT 200h, which will retail at about RM200,000," Ismet said at a press conference after the opening of the Lexus Johor facility.

The facility is owned and managed by independent dealers Mutiara Motorsports Sdn Bhd, which is part of the Mutiara Motors Group of Companies.

The launched was graced by the Tunku Temenggong Johor, Tunku Idris Iskandar Sultan Ibrahim, on behalf of the Tunku Mahkota Johor.

Also present was Mutiara Motors Group of Companies executive chairman Datuk Ahmad Kemin.

Ismet said another independent dealer-managed Lexus showroom will be opened by the end of this year in the Klang Valley.

This would bring the total Lexus outlets in Malaysia to four, where the main outlet in Mutiara Damansara is operated and managed by Lexus Malaysia.

Ismet said this was a good sign for the Lexus brand in Malaysia and added that more outlets are in the pipeline following the brand's progress in Malaysia.

"It was not easy for us as we had to work hard to establish a previously unrepresented luxury brand here with proper infrastructure and brand experience."

When asked if 2011 would be a challenging year for non-national makes like Lexus following the aggressive model introductions and promotions by European car brands here, Ismet said Lexus Malaysia believed that they can still reach or exceed the projected sales target.

"Lexus is a niche car brand and it has their own customer-base who know what they want."

Ahmad, who was instrumental in opening the Lexus Johor outlet, said the RM5 million concept showroom would be a showpiece for Lexus in the southern region.

He also expressed confidence that Lexus Johor can reach sales of about 135 units for this year.

Read more: Hybrid model to help Lexus hit sales target http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/leses/Article/index_html#ixzz1FxxLeOSh

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