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Toyota to import 2.4L Lexus ES to China in H2

By George Gao  From Gasgoo.comJune 24, 2009

Shanghai, June 24 ( In the first four months, China sales of Toyota Motor's luxury brand Lexus plunged 36% after a few years of rapid growth. To boost the sales, the 2.4L Lexus ES model will be imported to China in the second half of this year to meet the growing market demand for low-emission cars, said today.

From January to April, the sales of imported passenger cars in China increased 16% from a year earlier, with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus rising 1.5% together. But of the four luxury brands, Lexus saw its sales drop by a staggering 36%. This sales plunge is blamed on the higher sales tax on high-emission cars, as only over-3.0L Lexus models are sold in China.

Sources said that Toyota Motor will introduce the 2.4L Lexus ES model to China in the second half of this year to boost the luxury brand's sales in this fast-growing market. Currently, there are two 3.5L Lexus ES models sold in China, priced 489,000 yuan ($71,600) and 572,000 yuan.

To meet the growing demand for low-emission cars, the Lexus ES240 model, which is specially made for Chinese consumers, will be sold in China as an imported car priced between 380,000-500,000 yuan.

With the import of its ES240, the Lexus series will have a lower entry price to better compete with other luxury brands of its kind in China's luxury passenger car market and achieve better sales.

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