The earthquake and Tsunami that hit Japan in March and disrupted production is one of the reasons, as Lexus manufactures all bar one of its models (the RX) in its homeland. However, the production problems aren’t the sole reason for Lexus’ declining sales.
Last year’s recalls and the publicity they received had a negative effect on the brand. Moreover, arch-rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW are expanding their US line-up and offering bigger incentives – plus let’s not forget, the Germans also manufacture some of their cars locally in the US.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Mark Templin, general manager of Lexus, commented that the media is giving too much attention to market leaders:
“In the 11 years Lexus was number one, we ‘ve never once bragged about it. When we had to reduce production, it pretty much guaranteed that we would be challenged to remain number one in sales”.
He also dismissed all the talk about luxury car ranking: “All that doesn’t matter. All we care about us being number one in quality”.