It’s not just everyday car buyers that are after more fuel efficient cars, buyers of luxury cars are also beginning to lose a bit of interest in fuel inefficient top-end vehicles in the wake of rising fuel costs.
One manufacturer that has reaped the rewards is Lexus with its Hybrid Luxury range. Last month the company sold 470 hybrid vehicles – up 11.6 per cent for the year-to-date over the same period in 2007.
“Increased sales of Lexus hybrid vehicles show that higher fuel prices are forcing a rethink of the vehicles we drive, even at the luxury end of the market,” Lexus chief executive John Roca said
Lexus predicts 2000 hybrids will be sold by the third quarter. The strongest models have been the RX 400h hybrid SUV which has found 1200 buyers so far.
“While our customers can afford to pay more for petrol, the steep rise in fuel prices has sent a signal to everyone that oil is a finite resource. Lexus hybrids are widely accepted as an alternative to traditional petrol or diesel-engined vehicles, delivering real world economy and emissions benefits.” Roca continued.
Toyota’s Luxury arm has also sold over 500 GS 450h performance sedan as well as nearly 100 LS 600hL luxury saloons.
Lexus says hybrid luxury sales have been so strong that demand is currently outstripping supply.
“Lexus hybrids are clearly bucking the trend, forging a clear path towards more environmentally aware motoring without sacrificing power and driving enjoyment,” he said.
Currently Lexus is the only luxury manufacturer producing hybrid vehicles, using the technology adopted from its parent company Toyota.