With its mix of high-end hybrids, Lexus has sold over half-a-million of the battery-aided models worldwide. And as the luxury arm of Toyota–makers of the popular Prius, and widely considered to have the best hybrid systems–Lexus has an edge over other luxury automakers. But it’s not been a complete success story; although a hit in other markets, recent sales of the CT 200h have floundered in the U.S., as shoppers haven’t been swayed by the contrasting promise of fuel economy, coupled with a premium price tag. It’s been hit or miss in the hybrid game with luxury automakers.
The Lexus RX 400h and RX 450h have fared far better, and account for about half of all global sales, with 259,000 of the 506,000 models sold since its introduction in 2005. Perhaps most astonishing, is hybrids now account for about a quarter of all Lexus vehicle sales globally. In the U.S., Lexus reported 3,724 sales in November, or about 16 percent of the total. The automaker is expected to increase its hybrid range in the coming years. Toyota for its part has expanded the Prius range, and includes compact and premium versions. When we were in Arizona last week testing the new 2013 Toyota RAV4, much of the speculation was regarding the possible addition of a hybrid model. To which engineers responded, “if there’s a market for it, we’ll do it.”