MEXICO CITY — In the 17 years since Toyota Motor Corp. started selling Camrys in Mexico City, its executives have been peppered with a constant question from dealers and fans: When is Lexus coming to take on Germany's big three and a growing number of niche brands?
As it turns out, the executives were asking a question of their own: When will the Mexican luxury market be ready for a big new player such as Lexus to chase a limited number of luxury car buyers?
The answer, Lexus says, is now. Or more specifically, in the third quarter of 2021, when its new Mexico operation will open around five dealerships in the nation's three most populous markets:
- Mexico City and its sprawling suburbs
- The Monterrey metropolitan area in northern Mexico
- The Guadalajara metroplex in central Mexico.
Top Toyota executives traveled here last week to break the big news to its 67 Mexican dealers, some of whom are likely to submit proposals to be among the first batch of newly minted Lexus retailers.