Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) To Counter Lexus Brand Sales Decline With New Sports Car Series

Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) To Counter Lexus Brand Sales Decline With New Sports Car Series

Toyota Motor Corp (ADR)(NYSE:TM) will reportedly launch a new sports car series next month, in addition to new performance trims and packages for existing cars. Media reports indicate that the Japanese automaker could use the new series to spice up its portfolio with emotional cars.

Toyota Sports Car Plans

While details about the new sports car remain sketchy, initial indication is that the Toyota Supra will be at the helm of the much awaited launch next month. Toyota could also strengthen its family of GRMN models with the unveiling of the Yaris GRMN. Reports also indicate that the automaker could resurrect the MR2.

Toyota’s portfolio of sports cars is made up of the GT86 in anticipation of the new Supra and other series. People familiar with the matter believe the new lineup will go up against the Lexus F series as the automaker looks to strengthen its position in the highly lucrative sports car market.

The automaker has already ramped up support for the upcoming Toyota Supra which is poised to come with a manual transmission. However, the car will not come with a BMW inline-6 but will rather feature a turbocharged V-6.

Declining Lexus Brand Sales

A move to strengthen stakes in the sports car market does not come as a surprise given that Toyota is grappling with a decline in sales in its Lexus brand. The brand suffered its first fall in half-year sales as demand for sedans in the United States tanked.

Toyota sold 305,169 Lexus worldwide in the first six months of the year, down 4.4% from last year’s level of 319,275 cars. Sales in the United States which accounts for nearly half of total sales slumped 10%. The automaker expects sales to slump 4% for the year to around 650,000 units.

Separately, Toyota and Mazda have come together to jointly develop a smart-car control platform. The system under development will control car navigation, music in addition to boosting smartphone connectivity. The new system is slated for release sometime in the summer and will first feature in the new Toyota Camry’s.

Toyota was up by 0.55% in Friday’s trading session to end the week at $112.84 a share.