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Toyota bets made-in-Japan Lexus can expostulate sales

MIYATA, Japan (Reuters) – Toyota Motor on Friday launched prolongation of a revamped Lexus ES sedan, a flagship oppulance automobile that represents a renewed gamble a automaker can keep building cars for a United States and China during some-more dear factories in Japan.

Toyota, Japan’s tip automaker, has done it a idea to guarantee prolongation of some 3 million vehicles a year in a home marketplace – roughly triple a homogeneous outlay during Nissan Motor and Honda Motor and about 40 percent of a cars and trucks Toyota builds globally.

Lexus is pivotal to that commitment. The usually Lexus indication done outward Japan is a RX sport-utility automobile done in Ontario, Canada.

Japanese automakers, including Toyota, have been disorder from a clever yen that has eroded increase on exports. The Lexus plan leaves a code some-more unprotected to unfamiliar sell than Toyota’s mainline brand, though Toyota officials pronounced a made-in-Japan plan would compensate off even during stream yen levels.

“We have no skeleton to continue to a indicate that a business won’t function. But for cars like a ES, we are saying cost levels that will concede us to continue producing even if a yen is during 80 yen opposite a dollar,” pronounced Kazuo Ohara, executive clamp boss of Lexus International.

“Our process is to strengthen prolongation in Japan as most as probable for as prolonged as possible,” Ohara said.

Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW already make cars in China, where alien oppulance vehicles face tariffs of 25 percent. Nissan skeleton to start building Infiniti vehicles in China from 2014.

“At some indicate Toyota might have to pierce prolongation abroad to contest on a cost front,” pronounced Masatoshi Nishimoto, a manager of Japan and Korea automobile foresee during IHS Automotive.

Nishimoto pronounced Toyota could make such a pierce within 5 years and keep a high-profile domestic prolongation aim if it can expostulate sufficient tellurian sales expansion in a interim.

Toyota expects a all-new ES lineup, including a first-of-its-kind hybrid option, will expostulate tellurian sales expansion of some-more than 60 percent for a top-selling oppulance car.

Toyota also sees a launch of a 2013 indication as step toward retaking an critical bragging right by creation Lexus a best-selling oppulance code in a United States, a position it mislaid in 2011 when a Japan earthquake and tsunami disrupted output.

The new ES, that will not be sole in Japan, will be done in Toyota’s Miyata plant on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.

The redesign of a ES, built on a Toyota Avalon platform, follows a spate of Lexus revamps this year that are partial of a pull by Toyota to uncover it can attract consumers younger than a American “baby boomers” who done Lexus a strike in a 1990s.

The ES competes with BMW’s 3-Series sedan, Mercedes-Benz’s C-class and Infiniti’s G sedan. Mercedes-Benz is Daimler’s reward automobile code and Infiniti is Nissan Motor’s oppulance brand.

Between Jan to Jun this year, Toyota sole about 18,270 ES sedans in a United States, adult 10 percent compared to a same duration in 2011, creation it a second-best offered Lexus after a RX SUV.

Globally, 74,000 ES vehicles were sole final year, accounting for about 18 percent of a sum series of Lexus vehicles sold.

The ES, that stands for “Elegant Sedan,” will go on sale in August. Toyota is aiming to sell about 10,000 ES vehicles a month, including 5,000 in a United States and 3,000 in China, Ohara told reporters.

The pricing of a ES line, that includes a hybrid choice and versions with 2.5-litre and 3.5-litre engines, was not immediately available.

Last year, Toyota sole 404,000 Lexus vehicles, down from a rise of 518,000 in 2007.

(Reporting By Yoko Kubota; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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