NOVEMBER 22, 2004
A point worth noting in F1 circles
The Toyota Motor Corporation has announced to its European dealers that it is going to be spending $650m in the course of the next five years to promote its luxury brand Lexus, to take on Mercedes-Benz and BMW in their home markets. The Lexus brand was first introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 1988 and a year later the first cars were shown at the Detroit Auto Show and in September the first cars went on sale. The cars were a huge success with more than 60,000 being sold in the first 12 months and by the end of 1991 was outselling Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the United States. The brand was later launched in Europe and even in Japan while Lexus production expanded from Japanese plants to a manufacturing facility in Cambridge, Ontario in 2003.
Lexus's success in America has not been mirrored in Europe and the company sells only around 21,600 cars a year while in America sales are now up to 260,000. Toyota says that it will now invest heavily in promotion in Europe to raise the profile of the business.
Perhaps it might be an idea to put some money towards an engine supply for a team in F1 with "Lexus" badging.
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