Since the first RX 400h took to the road in 2005, through to the end of November this year, Lexus has sold more than 506,000 vehicles equipped with its Lexus Hybrid Drive system. There has been a steady increase in sales, with expansion of the hybrid range taking the technology into new parts of the market, reaching new customers.
In the year Lexus Hybrid Drive made its debut 26,000 vehicles were sold, while by 30 November this year the annual total was already at 113,000. Today hybrids account for about 25 per cent of all Lexus sales.
Europe is a strong market for Lexus hybrids, with 126,000 sold so far – about a quarter of the worldwide total. In Western Europe hybrids command a larger share, accounting for more than 85 per cent of the Lexus models sold.
In the UK more than 32,700 Lexus hybrid have been sold, with the RX again the best-performing model, but with the CT 200h attracting many customers new to the Lexus brand.
Model by model
The RX 400h, launched in 2005, was the world’s first production full hybrid luxury SUV. Succeeded by the RX 450h in 2009, it has claimed the largest share of Lexus hybrid sales, with 259,000 units sold through to November this year.
Lexus’s second hybrid model, the GS 450h, was introduced in 2006 and was the world first premium production saloon to be fitted with a rear-wheel drive full hybrid powertrain. Global sales have so far reached 32,000, with a significant boost achieved this year following the introduction of the new generation model, with 8,000 units sold between January and November.
The LS 600h extended the range further in 2007, marking another world-first in being the first production car to use a full hybrid powertrain with a V8 engine. It remains the most powerful hybrid vehicle on the road today. Up to November this year Lexus had sold around 29,000 of its hybrid limousine – in standard and LS 600h L long-wheelbase forms.
The HS 250h saloon was Lexus’s first “hybrid only” model, launched in Japan and North America in 2009, since when sales have reached close to 56,000 units.
The fifth Lexus hybrid (and its most recent introduction in Europe) is the CT 200h, which debuted in late 2011. It took Lexus hybrid power into the luxury compact/hatchback market for the first time and quickly became a major contributor to Lexus’s global sales. The total units sold have already reached 122,000 units.
The latest expansion of the range – in markets outside Western Europe– is the ES 300h, which went on sale earlier this year and has notched up more than 8,000 sales so far.
From Motorin News