LEXUS PRESS CONFERENCE PARIS MOTOR SHOW 2016
Dr Johan Van Zyl, President and Chief Executive Officer of European Operations
Lexus is – again – coming with great news to the Paris Motor Show, and I’m extremely happy to stand in front of you today!
If we look back over the last couple of years, Lexus underwent a tremendous change.
We have fully rejuvenated our line-up and added exciting new models such as NX and RC, as well as a growing range of performance cars including the RC F and the GS F.
Today, we offer the broadest line-up of premium hybrid vehicles in the industry - no less than 10 models globally! We sell more premium hybrid vehicles than any other manufacturer, by far!
And our region leads: no less than 98% of Lexus sales in Western Europe are hybrids.
Our design has become much bolder, our cars more emotional, and this, while retaining Lexus’ ultimate craftsmanship and quality credentials.
And we are very pleased to see that our efforts are met with enthusiast consumer response on the global market. In Europe for instance, the home of the premium car market, with probably the most demanding customers, Lexus has a clear lead in many customer satisfaction surveys.
This also results in a sustained sales momentum, with double-digit year-on-year sales growth. We are well on our way to exceed our target of 70 thousand sales in Europe this year, a new record for our brand.
But Lexus transformation is only starting to unfold and there’s much more to come in the near future to establish Lexus as a truly global luxury lifestyle brand.
The LC, our new flagship coupe, which we revealed earlier this year, is the symbol of this journey. LC is pure emotion, both from design and driving perspectives, supported by innovative technologies.
With LC, we introduce our next generation performance hybrid system: the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System. This new powertrain brings more power, greater acceleration higher efficiency, and last but certainly not least, more fun to drive.
LC is coming on the market next year, but this summer we already took it to an extensive tour in Europe, from the Nürburgring to Goodwood, from Madrid to Amsterdam, to connect with customers and car enthusiasts. We wanted to hear their first-hand feedback, and their response was fantastic!
Our next product launch is just around the corner and I am very happy to present it today, for the first time in Europe: the new Lexus IS sports sedan.
The IS is one of Lexus’ most successful models ever. Since the launch of the first generation, back in 1999, we have delivered more than one million units to consumers worldwide.
The new IS features revised exterior styling, an even more refined cabin and enhanced equipment such as a multimedia screen up to 10.3 inches.
Also, we have revised suspensions and steering for an even better dynamic experience, and the new IS now includes our benchmark package of active safety technologies, the Lexus Safety System +.
You can expect the new IS in Lexus showrooms by January next year.
Now… time to look deeper into the future! And I’m referring to the vehicle hidden behind this screen, which you will discover in a few moments.
This vehicle is all about anticipation but it is also rooted in Lexus’ unparalleled expertise in the SUV market.
In the 90’s Lexus pioneered the premium SUV world with the RX and the LX, for the first time in the industry combining off-road capabilities with premium luxury. Then in 2004, we launched the RX hybrid, the first premium hybrid SUV on the market.
In 2014 we further expanded our line-up with NX demonstrating that ‘Utility’ can be combined with a unique, striking design personality. And NX is already our best-seller in Europe!
From the outset our vision for SUVs was based on luxury and quality, then expanded to innovative hybrid technology and striking design.
Now we are ready for the next chapter - even bolder, even more emotional and unique on the market.
I am very proud to introduce today, in world premiere, our vision of the premium urban crossover of the future. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the Lexus UX Concept!
The dynamic compact SUV packaging is designed to appeal to progressive, urban customers who live in an ever-connected environment.
The UX Concept delivers an immersive driver experience with futuristic 3D holographic displays and other innovative electronic features. The seat design is inspired by Lexus’ Kinetic Seat Concept … a ground breaking technology that stimulates the drivers’ senses by involving the whole body in the driving experience.
The UX Concept showcases a modern expression of Lexus’ ultimate craftsmanship … married with hi-tech manufacturing techniques.>
This is what we call a design statement! It’s clearly a Lexus, you can recognize all our signature elements: the spindle grille, the L-shaped lights, the striking lines… but in an entirely new execution, and one that will turn heads.
And by the way, the UX Concept was conceived here in France, in ED2, our European Design Centre. Our design philosophy has Japanese roots, but it is also truly global in its expression.
As highlighted by this new concept, Lexus always seeks to anticipate. We are passionate about cars … about design, quality, driving emotions, and not to forget … customer experience. In the coming months and years, we will work even harder to transmit our passion to consumers worldwide.
Thank you for your attention!