Toyota’s troubles hurting Lexus’ relationships with customers

Though not as severely as that of Toyota, Lexus’ standing with consumers has diminished considerably in the past two months, according to market researchers.

BrandIndex Service, a New York based agency that surveys consumer brand perceptions, has said that Lexus quality reputation is at the lowest it has ever been. “Lexus spent 2009 either neck and neck or slightly ahead of luxury rival BMW in quality scores,” said Drew Kerr, a BrandIndex spokesman. “The game changed in early February, when the Toyota news exploded and Lexus began descending significantly.”

Of the more than 6 million Toyota vehicles that have recently been recalled, 450,000 have been Lexus brand. Unlike Toyota, however, Lexus has seen a sales increase of 5% this year, though this is attributed to an expanded lineup. Too offset that statistic though, consider that Lexus has been the luxury leader in sale since 2000, and that this year Mercedes is up 24% while BMW is up 12%.

Lexus is confident that their ability to differentiate themselves from Toyota will be a successful move in regaining confidence.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)