Sales of the Japanese luxury brand's hybrid vehicles are on the increase.
- shares

The local arm of Japanese luxury carmaker, Lexus, is riding the crest of a hybrid wave, with its range of electrified vehicles accounting for around 30 per cent of local sales.

And while Lexus has confirmed its first all-electric vehicle, the crossover UX300e with 400km of range, will go on sale in China and Europe this year, it’s unlikely to make its way Down Under anytime soon.

Lexus Australia CEO, Scott Thompson, stated last year, “Should it become available, we would love to be able to offer this vehicle in Australia once issues such as charging infrastructure are resolved.”

And he reiterated that position at an industry event this week, stating emphatically “Our focus at the moment is on hybrid”.

The entire Lexus range – bar the LX upper large SUV and the sporty RC coupe – has a hybrid variant. From the price-leading CT200h ($41,750) to the $194,553 LC500h sports car, customers are flocking to the technology.

“You can see the growth we’re experiencing,” said Thompson. “Over 30 per cent of our sales are hybrids which is now an accepted technology, I suppose, where we’ve been growing it over time.”

Thompson conceded that electric mobility was the future of the automotive landscape, but that his company’s focus remained on hybrid vehicles.

He added that the simplicity and ease-of-use of hybrid vehicles was a big drawcard for customers.

“The hybrid option… basically plays right into the mindset of the consumer right now, looking for advanced technologies, looking for electrification, and looking for the ease and convenience of not having to plug it in,” he said.

As well as riding the crest of a hybrid wave, Lexus is also experiencing sales surge, recording a 60.8 per cent increase in June over the same time last year. Despite the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lexus sold 1560 cars in June, against 970 in June, 2019.

Additionally, the Japanese manufacturer has sold a total 4740 vehicles in the first six months of 2020, a decrease of just 1.4 per cent year-on-year. Last year, Lexus had sold 4808 vehicles to the end of June.

This goes against the current trend where the overall market remained in decline of around 20 per cent, year-on-year.