Naveen Soni takes charge as Lexus India president

Naveen Soni took over as president of the Lexus brand at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) from January 1. He succeeds PB Venugopal who will move over to a senior role in product planning.

  • Soni was involved in key models like Glanza and Urban Cruiser

  • Lexus looking to increase its guest experience centres across the country

Soni has been spearheading sales and service in his capacity as senior vice president through 2020 and 2021, when the pandemic caused a host of disruptions. He has been involved with the development of key models like the Glanza and Urban Cruiser, which were sourced from Maruti as part of the global agreement between Toyota and Suzuki.

In his new role at the helm of Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand which entered the Indian market in 2017, Soni will have his work cut out in increasing its numbers, while taking on competition from European brands which dominate the luxury car market.

Increasingly, luxury car manufacturers are beginning to realise that it is the customer experience that eventually matters – right from the time of taking delivery to actual use. 

Lexus already has guest experience centres (GECs) in select metros and will look at expanding it to tap into the growing breed of wealthy entrepreneurs who are ready to spend on luxury products.

Soni takes charge of Lexus at a time of heightened awareness of global warming, and hopes that Lexus’ hybrid model line-up will appeal to the environmentally conscious buyers who are keen to make a statement. However, with no duty concessions, hybrids continue to be very expensive, and, coupled with the high custom duties on imports – Lexus India’s range is mostly imported – is a deterrent Soni will have to work around.

What do you think of Lexus’ India hybrid line-up? Let us know in the comments below.
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