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SALES: Jeff Bracken, Group vice president and genera manager , Lexus
 
Could 2015 be Lexus’ year? Toyota’s luxury division is in a dogfight to reclaim the U.S. luxury sales crown from its German rivals and currently sits in third place. BMW grabbed the lead in 2011 from Lexus after an 11-year run. It’s been in German hands ever since.

While Toyota and Lexus have publicly backed off explicitly stating that sales figures are crucial, one man at Lexus doesn’t beat around the bush: Jeff Bracken, 61, group vice president and general manager.

“It’s important. No question about it,” Bracken said at the beginning of the year.

The silver-haired exec has been with Toyota Motor Sales for 37 years, starting in the western region before moving into his current post. Looking at the Lexus brand he currently oversees in the U.S., there’s a lot to like.

Highlights include a newly filled roster of redesigned models — including Lexus’ best-seller, the RX crossover and the all-new NX compact crossover — new turbocharged engines in four models and a seasonal sales push (“December to Remember”) with recognition that’s the envy of the industry.

Sales through the first 10 months of the year are up 12 percent, and last month was the best October that Lexus has ever had. If production can match Bracken’s expectations, the luxury world might just have a new king in January.