Lexus Australia appoints new chief executive

Scott Thompson is finishing up as chief executive of Lexus Australia, and will be replaced by ex-Toyota Australia chief marketing officer John Pappas.


John Pappas has been announced as the next chief executive of Lexus Australia.

Mr Pappas is taking over from Scott Thompson, who will become vice president of operations, business development and technology at Toyota’s mobility and car-sharing arm, Kinto, in Europe.

Mr Thompson will concurrently be vice president of mobility for Toyota Motor Europe.

As a Monash University graduate, Mr Pappas studied mechanical engineering and has 25 years of automotive experience, including a variety of senior international, national and regional roles.

Mr Pappas previously completed assignments in national sales, regional operations, parts supply and logistics for Toyota Motor Corporation Australia.

He also spent two years at the group’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore.

“I am really excited to build on the strong momentum for Lexus, supported by stunning next models including our first all-electric vehicle, UX 300e, the upcoming all-new NX range and the next-generation flagship LX SUV,” said Mr Pappas.

In 2021, Lexus continued to push towards 10,000 annual sales, but fell short at 9290 units – up five per cent from its 2020 annual sales.

That’s despite the discontinuation of several model lines due to new ADR regulations around side impact collisions, which includes the long-running IS, RC and CT.

It’s the fourth top-selling luxury brand in Australia during 2021, with fewer than 300 units separating it from its nearest competitor, Volvo.

The best-selling Lexus model for 2021 was the soon-to-be-replaced NX luxury mid-sized SUV, which sold 3091 units.

Second was the RX luxury large SUV (1908 units), followed by the baby UX in third (1744 units).

The IS sedan was the brand’s best-selling passenger model, though it’s now been removed from sale, posting a respectable 1143 sales. The Lexus ES continued its ascent with 36.9 per cent yearly growth to 802 units.

Other notable mentions include the LandCruiser 200 Series-based Lexus LX off-roader, which with 300 sales held relatively strong despite the release of the new LandCruiser 300 Series and the imminent arrival of a new generation some time later in 2022.

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Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an emerging automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Jack recently graduated from Deakin University and has previously competed in dance nationally. In his spare time, Jack likes to listen to hyperpop and play Forza Horizon.

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