TOKYO — Is a new Lexus LX worth a four-year wait?
Plenty of customers in Japan apparently think so.
With delivery delays stretching that long in the home market, Toyota Motor Corp.’s premium brand suspended new orders for the flagship large SUV this month. Otherwise, the company is concerned vehicles ordered today won’t even arrive before the next model update is planned.
Lexus has also pulled the plug on new orders for the NX compact crossover in Japan for the same reason. The wait has grown beyond one year, parent company Toyota said.
The redesigned LX went on sale in Japan only in January, and the NX landed here last November.
“LX is very popular not only in Japan but also around the world, and we have received orders that greatly exceed our production capacity,” Lexus said in an apology on its Japanese website.
In the U.S., Lexus is still taking orders for both nameplates, but availability is limited by crimped output. The LX is manufactured in Japan; the NX in Japan and Canada.
“For the U.S. market, we are getting some global allocation preference. This is still not enough, but we don’t have a four-year wait,” Toyota Motor North America spokesman Scott Vazin said.
Lexus has a “significant sold order bank,” especially for the LX, he added.
In the U.S., Lexus has only a few days’ supply of vehicles. Sales there of the LX fell 21 percent through June; NX sales — a mix of imports and domestic builds — slumped 39 percent.
Overall Lexus U.S. sales declined 17 percent in the six-month period.
Toyota also suspended orders for the just-redesigned Land Cruiser. In January, Toyota warned customers in Japan the wait for a Land Cruiser 300 Series was four years.
Demand for the popular utility vehicles has simply outstripped Toyota’s capacity to produce them as the Japanese carmaker grapples with supply chain disruptions.
Toyota has lost production of about 400,000 vehicles worldwide in the fiscal year that started April 1, on the back of semiconductor shortages and pandemic slowdowns. Toyota’s latest dial-down came June 22, when it cut its global production plan for July by 50,000 vehicles to 800,000.
Through May, output in Japan was down 16 percent, but it was up 3.3 percent outside the country.