Whenever we hear about the brand Lexus in India we are reminded of this car- The Lexus LX470.
In the early and mid-2000's, this was a favourite among Bollywood celebrities, industrialists and politicians. Many of the cars are still around and can be spotted once in a while. Please note that most of the LX470's in India are actually the Landcruiser Cygnuses which are rebadged as LX470's. This is the Landcruiser Cygnus-
There are a few Lexus LS460/600h's which were imported by individuals or sold through embassies. So basically Lexus isn't an unkown brand in India but obviously, it isn't as common as Mercedes-Benz or BMW or Audi.
Internationally Lexus is known for its luxury and reliability. A luxury car with the reliability of a humble Toyota Corolla. Yes, they have given the international markets some really fun to drive cars like the GS300(the one with the 2JZ-GTE from the legendary Supra), IS F, LFA, RCF.etc. Their SUV's have always been robust and luxurious.
Lexus has entered the Indian market with the RX450h, LX450d and the ES300h. The RX has been launched at Rs. 1.09 Cr (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the ES300h at Rs. 55.27 Lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The prices for the LX450d will be revealed later.
These prices are ridiculously high for the ES and the RX because they are CBU's. RX at Rs. 1cr+ is a loot and the ES300h at 55Lakh is still high. A premium of 8-10L over the Camry hybrid was justified but a premium of 20L is too much. If the current Landcruiser sells at 1.5Cr in India then god knows how expensive the LX450d would be. RX ideally should compete with the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 but here it goes much beyond the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7. I hope Lexus opts for the CKD route and reduces the prices because at this price their entire lineup feels highly overpriced. We are sure that Lexus is going to do well in India because of their association with Toyota which is very much respected in India and for the exclusivity factor among the luxury segment car buyers but It would have been better if Lexus had made its debut in India with the LS, IS and GX. LS would have taken care of their image with the full-size luxury car buyers, IS for the entry level luxury car buyers and GX with the mid-size luxury SUV buyers. Currently, the entry-level luxury segment has no new players and the IS would have been great in targeting the 35-45L car buyers segment. The Prado and Montero at their current prices seem grossly overpriced but had the GX been there in that segment then it would have been better as a non-German luxury full-Size SUV between 60 lakhs to 1.10cr is missing. LS could have been a welcome change for the S-class and 7-series buyers.
We really hope Lexus India takes some drastic steps in pricing their cars right in our market. Obviously, they are going to find buyers because they give you luxury with peace of mind which is the ultimate need of 90% of the buyers in any segment. But at this price point? We really doubt if it makes sense.