Lexus surpassed 300,000 in annual sales for the first time ever in 2005, retaining the crown as American's No. 1-selling luxury brand for the sixth consecutive year. Total U.S. sales came to a best-ever 302,895, up 5.5 percent from 287,927 in 2004.
Since its inception in 1989, Lexus has enjoyed steady growth and expanded business, success the company attributes to its devotion to the pursuit of perfection and its total focus on the customer experience.
"At Lexus, we believe that the ultimate success is a satisfied and loyal customer," said Bob Carter, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Our business model is based on treating every customer like a guest in our own home, which means providing the highest quality of attention and care at every level: from design conception to dealership and from purchase to service. This, more than any number, is our goal at all times."
The 300,000-unit milestone has been achieved only on three other occasions, by Cadillac, in the mid 1980s. Since that time, no other luxury nameplate has been able to reach this sales pinnacle, even in a thriving auto market.
Sales of Lexus passenger cars achieved all-time record-breaking results with 151,226 units, an increase of 11.5 percent over 2004. The Lexus flagship LS 430 premium luxury sedan continues to be the segment leader with sales of 26,043 units. The all-new GS mid-luxury sport sedans and IS entry-luxury sports sedans contributed heavily to the record year. The GS 300/430 achieved best-ever year-end combined sales of 33,457 units. The GS 300 recorded best-ever monthly sales of 2,973 units, an increase of 305 percent, while the GS 430 posted sales of 458 units, an increase of 349 percent. The all new IS entry-luxury sport sedans, which debuted in October, enjoyed a best-ever overall combined sales month of 4,518 units, an increase of 573.3 percent over the same period last year. The IS 250 reported sales of 2,887 units, while the 306-hp IS 350 enjoyed sales of 1,631 units.
Lexus luxury utility vehicles enjoyed a banner sales year, up 0.2 percent at 151,669 units. The RX 330 was the luxury utility vehicle sales leader in 2005 with 108,775 combined units sold, an increase of 2.4 percent over the same period a year ago. It was the second year in row for the RX to reach 100,000 units in annual sales. The RX 400h, the world's first hybrid-luxury vehicle introduced in April, earned sales of 20,674 units in 2005. The GX 470 mid-size luxury utility vehicle recorded a best-ever sales month in December of 4,599 units, a 4.4 percent increase over 2004.
In addition to record-breaking new-vehicle sales, Lexus Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle sales hit all-time record highs in 2005. Lexus CPO sales of 45,998 for the year were up 5.3 percent over 2004 calendar year totals. For the fourth year in a row, Lexus Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicles ranked first in customer satisfaction in the 2005 J.D. Power and Associates Used Vehicles Sales and Certification Study (UVSC).
Well-recognized for the excellence of its vehicles, Lexus has topped J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) for 11 years running. 2005 marks the fifth consecutive year with Lexus as the top-ranked nameplate in the association's Initial Quality Study (IQS), making a clean sweep of five individual segment awards. The SC 430 topped the entire study, as well as the premium luxury car segment with the LS 430 in second. In the APEAL Study, Lexus had the highest number of models at the top of their respective segments: the GS 300/430, RX400h, LS 430 and IS 300/IS 300 SportCross. Lexus also ranked number one in the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Customer Retention StudySM, gaining 3.5 percentage points from 2004 to take the lead in 2005 by retaining 63.0 percent of its customers. The industry average was 49.6 percent.
"Our bottom line is not a dollar figure, it is an experience - the customer experience," Carter explained. "In recent years we have worked to expand that customer base by delivering the industry's first luxury hybrid SUV as well as by continuing to improve upon already proven and loved vehicles."
Lexus' focus on progress is reflected in the performance and innovation of the all-new IS and GS luxury sedans. The brand continues to make strides in multiple arenas with its ongoing dedication to expanding hybrid technology into other models. Design is critically important as well, with a whole new design direction leading the way towards vehicles that appeal as much to the eye and the senses as they do the driving connoisseur.
"We started out to be the best," Carter said. "We never imagined
we would be the biggest. Lexus is about providing our customers the best possible
experience. One that we know will keep getting better and better."