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After several false starts, Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus will be finally launched in India 2017

After evaluating the Indian luxury car market for several years, Toyota has finally given the green light for the launch of the Lexus brand in India. In fact, way back in 201 1, Toyota had confirmed that the Lexus brand would launch in India in 2013 but the big jump in customs duties to 100 percent on fully imported cars in the 2013-14 Union Budget forced Toyota to shelve the project at the last minute.

With no plans to locally assemble Lexus cars in India, the Japanese brand would have been badly hit by the high customs duties on imports and hence be at a huge price disadvantage against the locally built German brands.

Toyota has however revived its plans to bring Lexus to the market and is banking on the growing number of benefits hybrid cars are beginning to enjoy in India. Firstly, the customs duties on imported cars are lower overall for hybrids. ln addition, under the FAME scheme, hybrids above four-metres long get a concession of up to Rs 1.38 lakh. which is a healthy benefit even on a Rs 1 crore luxury can And with the ‘odd-even’ restrictions in Delhi becoming a more regular feature and possibly spreading to other cities, a hybrid can which is exempt from the rule, is even more attractive.

lt’s not clear which models Lexus will first introduce but it’s likely the company will follow a ‘top-down’ strategy and eventually bring in its entire range. First up could be the full-size LX SUV followed by an entry-level ES 300h hybrid sedan.

With its hybrid range. Lexus is hoping to compete with diesel luxury cars by offering superb refinement, a smooth and easy driving experience and the cleaner perception hybrid cars have today.


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