Toyota Suspends Building Lexus Brand in China
Toyota Motors might be delaying building its premium Lexus brand in China for a few more years and wait and the growth in the auto market in China slows down to a crawl plus paired with a weak yen made it cheaper to build more cars in Japan. Toyota is focusing on strengthening the Lexus brand in China and increases the sales in the country to above 100,000 vehicles a year before they invest in millions of dollars to build a new assembly line.
Toyota is also apprehensive in sharing its control of the Lexus brand with its domestic joint venture partner which is a requirement for all foreign carmakers when assembling and selling vehicles in China. Toyota is committed to China and will eventually be starting producing Lexus cars in China but needs to do a few things before taking the plunge as Toyota stresses how important in making the Lexus the most well recognized name in China before they start producing there.
At the start of 2015 the momentum has been building and pressing key Toyota leaders to decide as early as this year to start producing the Lexus brand in China. Discussions have been made and focused on building the Lexus ES sedan or the Lexus RX crossover SUV in China. But since the auto market has slowed down significantly to a growth pace of just 1.4 percent for the first half of the year, it was unlikely that Toyota will go and produce the Lexus brand but rather wait for a few more years and see where the growth is at.