Toyota’s luxury arm, Lexus, has today announced the company has sold over 1000 hybrids in Australia since the launch of the first luxury hybrid the GS 450h performance sedan, in May last year.
The Sedan wasn’t the primary winner though, with the GS 450h only accounting for a third of Lexus’ hybrid sales, the winner is the world’s first performance hybrid SUV, RX 400h, accounting for two-thirds of sales.
Logically, the RX400h is the easy pick, going against the bad image of fuel guzzling SUVs, the green SUV is not only cleaner than most everyday family cars, but also doesn’t share the Prius’ poor power credentials. The RX 400h produced 155kW and 288Nm.
“Lexus’ hybrid vehicles challenge the myth that hybrids are underpowered and unreliable. Lexus hybrid customers enjoy the best of both worlds: Lexus’ unyielding drive for quality, durability and reliability, coupled with guilt-free performance. said John Roca, chief executive of Lexus Australia.
Roy Morgan market research recently conducted a survey which showed that nearly 50% of all Australian new car buyers would seriously consider buying a hybrid vehicle. This is at odds with the market trend in the U.S. which shows Hybrid sales are slowly running out of puff whilst Diesel continues to grow.
Although we might be allies in combat, Australians don’t share the same view towards hybrids as Americans, with year-to-date (end July 2007) VFACTS figures showing the sales of hybrid vehicles up by 93.3 per cent over the same period in 2006.
Some argue the Hybrid phenomenon is comparable to the healthy choice menu of fast food restaurants (all about the healthy/green image), it should be clear now, Hybrid cars not going away with Lexus and even the likes of Porsche fully committed.
Lexus’ next Hybrid vehicles will be the LS 600hL long-wheelbase luxury due for launch in Australia later this year. Lexus says the LS 600hL is by far the world’s most advanced hybrid vehicle.