News: Japan-based auto company Toyota Motor's luxury brand Lexus is looking to open luxury outlets to boost its premium brand image globally, reports Auto News. The company said it plans to launch its first such store, which is spread over 331 square metres, in Tokyo's Aoyama district on August 30 2013. Lexus' store in Tokyo, Japan, will host a café, a garage, a shop and a library lounge serving modern Tokyo-themed foods. The company said it intends to open similar outlets in New York, US and Dubai, UAE but specified no timeframe.
BMI View: The expected contraction in Japanese auto sales has continued into June, as sales for the month fell 10.8% y-o-y, taking the total for the first six months of 2013 down 8.0% y-o-y. We forecast over a 4.8% decline for 2013, based on the incentivised growth of 2012, which we believe will be difficult to repeat. However, we are upgrading our 2013 auto sales forecast from our previous estimate of a 11.4% drop.