Supply chain, quality-control issues spur Lexus' fall as top U.S. carmaker  Lexus has commanded the biggest U.S. market share among luxury carmakers for the past decade. However, supply chain disruptions emanating from Japan will likely lead the automaker to lose its position to BMW, according to a recently published report.

In 2010, Lexus was the top luxury carmaker in the U.S. However, all but one of the company's cars are manufactured in Japan, which has had to grapple with the effects of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that battered the island nation on March 11. Since then, Lexus has had to trim back manufacturing by more than 50 percent.

Increasing competition from Mercedes-Benz and BMW has also hurt the Japanese carmaker, whose parent company is Toyota Motor. Lexus trailed both of the German car companies during the first four months of 2011. Further, it trails both of its rivals in U.S. shipments this year.

"The house was on fire at Lexus before the earthquake hit," Car Lab president Eric Noble told the news service. "If the current situation wakes them up to that, then some good may come from it."

Analysts affirm that a spate of recalls last year also hurt Lexus' market share, as consumers started to shift their attitudes about the company.
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