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Lexus lowers sales expectations by 1,500

Lexus GB has lowered its sales expectations from 12,500 to 11,000 for this year following the downwards trend in the UK car market. Last year it hit 15,119, its best ever result.Despite the weakening UK economy, Lexus GB director Belinda Poole isn’t advising dealers to change their sales strategy.

“It’s business as usual,” she said. “We’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing.”

Lexus sold 1,894 cars last month compared to 3,381 in September 2007.

Poole said: “September was to be as expected and there were no shocks. We knew it wasn’t going to be a good month, but that’s the same across the industry.

“I don’t think Lexus customers are completely unaffected by the financial pressures, but they’re very savvy customers and take a pragmatic approach to spending.”

Poole said Lexus GB and the dealer network were waiting to see what would happen to the UK economy to assess what plan of action to take next year.

She added: “I think 2009 is still going to be a difficult year.”
One thing that may affect Lexus’ position within the market is the introduction of rival luxury Japanese brand Infiniti next April.

Poole admitted she had checked out the Infiniti line-up at this year’s Paris Motor Show and has already visited dealers in the US, France and Russia.

She said: “Infiniti is still a bit of an unknown. The products have a US focus and they have no hybrid engines so the product offering is quite different.”

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