Japan’s luxury marque Lexus is well on track for a local sales record in 2023, after breaking its half-yearly record by a fair margin.

    The company sold 6910 vehicles across the first half (H1) of this year, up a whopping 75.5 per cent over the same January to June period in 2022.

    If the company keeps this pace it should sell nearly 14,000 units this year – unlikely given March and June are normally big months – but even a dramatic slowdown would see it set a new record.

    The company’s all-time annual sales high-water mark for a full year was in 2019 when it sold 9612 cars. It also broke the 9000-unit barrier in 2021 (9290) and 2016 (9027).

    So what’s been doing the heavy lifting? Lexus’s MVP is the NX mid-sized SUV with 2767 sales year-to-date (YTD), up around 60 per cent.

    This reflects the limited supply of the new-generation model that made it to dealers last year, meaning there’s a big order book to clear through. The NX’s 646 sales in June suggests this is happening.

    The similarly new Lexus RX SUV, one-rung larger than the NX, is the company’s second biggest-seller this year with 1413 units, up nearly 52 per cent YoY.

    Other Lexus models that are tracking way up include the facelifted UX with 1140 sales YTD (up 97 per cent) and the Toyota LandCruiser-based LX (562 sales, up 199 per cent).

    It’s not just SUVs that are driving Lexus’ improved results though, with the ES sedan also up 109 per cent to 931 units – no doubt partly filling the void left by the end of the Lexus IS.

    Interestingly, the high-performing Lexus models share many of their componentry with Toyota equivalents that remain remain hobbled by lack of supply.

    Toyota’s sales are down 24 per cent and the company’s market share has plummeted, with the RAV4 (related to Lexus NX) down 34 per cent, Kluger (Lexus RX) down 25 per cent, and Camry (Lexus ES) down 27 per cent.

    Toyota, like many other OEMs, has prioritised factory output of higher-profit models as it battles parts shortages. That’s a win for its luxury division.

    Lexus isn’t the only premium brand on the bounce in 2023. Audi is up 48 per cent, Genesis is up 88.1 per cent, and Land Rover is up 42.8 per cent.

    Lexus’ high-performers in 2023:

    • Lexus NX – 2767 sales, up 59.8 per cent
    • Lexus RX – 1413 sales, up 51.6 per cent
    • Lexus UX – 1140 sales, up 97.2 per cent
    • Lexus ES – 931 sales, up 109.2 per cent
    • Lexus LX – 562 sales, up 198.9 per cent
    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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