By Kap Maceda Aguila

JAPAN-HEADQUARTERED premium car maker Lexus rallied in May and June to pace the luxury car segment in sales for the period. In an exclusive interview with “Velocity,” Lexus Manila President Raymond Rodriguez said that the lone dealership of the brand (on 8th Avenue and 34th Street in Bonifacio Global City) was able to sell 30 and 69 units in May and June, respectively.

From January to June 2020, sales totaled 197 units, landing Lexus in third place among premium car brands. “The best-sellers for us are our RX and NX models,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “However, in terms of numbers, the LM350 sold the most units at 70 — (accounting for) 35% of total sales in March. For sedans, it’s the ES350 with 18 units or nine percent of total.”

Broken down by category, Lexus H1 sales were comprised of SUVs (48%), vans (35%), and sedans (17%). “In January, we had little stock available since we sold well in December,” continued the executive, who added that the lockdown months in the first and second quarter proved challenging.

While the numbers appear to be trending upward, the executive remains cautious. “July may not be as good as June, as the strong sales in June mainly served the pending reservations of previous months,” he said.

“We would always want to be optimistic, but there is so much uncertainty. We’re unsure about recovery since we had two months of no sales. Also, we are now at negative growth year on year,” Mr. Rodriguez continued. “The most important thing is to narrow the gap. As of June, our growth is at -27%. The industry, if I’m not mistaken, is at around -50%, so we’re not doing that bad.”

Much depends on government quarantine level or controls. “By August, we should be able to tell. Quarantine controls directly impact not only new car sales but also our after sales,” concluded the auto executive.