Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) plans to restore Lexus RX production in Canada to full speed in September and have dealers stocked with RX sport-utility vehicles by December, said Mark Templin, the U.S. chief of Lexus.
Sales of Lexus vehicles fell this year as the tsunami in Japan disrupted suppliers and reduced manufacturing. Lexus sales in June in the U.S. fell 38 percent to 10,773 from 17,332 a year earlier. For the first half, U.S. Lexus sales slid 18 percent to 88,010.
“June was the bottom of the trough,” Templin said today at a media luncheon in Chicago. “We see a bright future.”
The RX is the top-selling Lexus model. Through June, dealers sold 39,838 in the U.S., 9.1 percent fewer than in last year’s first half.
The brand’s buyers haven’t gone to other manufacturers because of the company’s troubles with production, Templin said.
“They’ll be there when we do have product,” he said.
Sales of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)’s BMW brand rose 13 percent in the first half, the same as the rest of the U.S. auto market. Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz gained 7 percent, according to research firm Autodata Corp. and company statements.
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