Toyota launches new Lexus luxury sedan in Thailand

BANGKOK, NNA - Toyota Motor Corp. has begun selling the latest model of its flagship Lexus luxury sedan series in Thailand, marking the model's first launch in Southeast Asia.

Following its launch in Japan last month, the automaker released All-New LS, the fifth generation of Lexus LS, this week in the Southeast Asian country, aiming to sell 40 units there for the first year, after remodeling the sedan for the first time in 10 years.

The new Japan-made LS sedan with a 3.5-liter engine is priced between 11.5 million baht ($351,480) and 15.8 million baht.

Vudhigorn Suriyachantananont, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Thailand Co., its Thai arm, said demand for vehicles with high-performance engines is strong among Thai high-end users and the market is expected to grow around 20 percent this year.

"Sales of luxury cars for the first nine months of this year stood at about 20,000 units and will likely reach 26,000 to 27,000 vehicles by year-end, up from 21,700 the previous year," he said.

But he said the sales of overall Lexus brand cars in Thailand was expected to decline 16 percent year-on-year to 650 units this year due to a hiatus of new Lexus model launches since the release of new sport utility vehicle RX at the end of 2015.

In Japan, the country's largest carmaker by volume has got a good response to the latest Lexus model from customers, receiving orders of about 9,500 units a month after its launch on Oct. 19, against the company's monthly sales target of 600 units. (NNA/Kyodo)