As Toyota, the world's largest car manufacturer, gets ready to bring the Lexus — a luxury sub-brand of the company — to the subcontinent market, the company is mulling over plans to sell the luxury cars through a separate dealer network in India, a recent report of Business Standard revealed.
According to the report, Toyota is planning to have a separate sales network for its Lexus premium offerings in India, something similar to what Maruti did with the Nexa premium dealership chains. The car-maker has apparently identified the dealers for the new network in Delhi and Bangalore. Only the existing dealers of Toyota stand a chance to bag the newly planned dealerships of Lexus, adds the report.
Toyota is planning to bring the Lexus offerings as completely knocked down (CKD) units which would be assembled locally at the company's plant in India. This would also help the firm keep the price tag low by avoiding heavy customs duty of Completely Built Units (CBU) line. It is also being said that Toyota is currently studying the possibility of introducing the new brand in India and has not put a timeline.
Talks were on in 2010 and 2013 too to bring the Lexus to India, but the plans did not take off for various reasons. It was reported earlier that, unlike the international portfolio of Lexus vehicles that comes with petrol and diesel engine, Lexus strategy for India is likely to stick to the hybrid model at the initial phase, considering the increasing popularity for such models in the country.
Meanwhile, rumours are also rife that Toyota is also planning to bring Daihatsu small cars to India. Toyota, which aims to challenge the dominance of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai in India with Daihatsu small cars, plans to sell the Daihatsu models in India with Toyota badge. The cars are expected to ply on Indian roads in the next two years.