Lexus rethinks hybrid-only plan for UK

Lexus rethinks hybrid-only plan for UK

13/06/2012 in News, All News, Car Manufacturer News

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Lexus rethinks hybrid-only plan for UK

Lexus has re-thought its plans to sell only hybrid versions of its models in Europe.

The new GS, which is just being rolled out across the UK, will be available with a 2.5-litre petrol engine by popular demand.

Paul Van der Burgh, director of Lexus Europe, said that customers, particularly in the top-selling countries - Russia and the UK - still want the option of a petrol engine rather than a hybrid.

He said: "There are some 7,000 petrol GS owners out there since the car was launched in 1993 and they have remained loyal to us and we want to keep them.

"We are making petrol models for other markets around the world so there is no great cost implication in making them available for Europe."

The new model goes on sale next month and the GS250 petrol starts at £32,995 with the luxury version costing £35,995 and the F Sport version £39,995.

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Lexus’s unsuccessful foray into diesel cars was consigned to history with the launch of the third-generation IS saloon in 2013. Lexus will focus on petrol-electric hybrid in the UK in future and potential customers seem to be getting the message that hybrids can be cost-effective compared with diesel alternatives.

With IS and GS models offering versions below critical CO2 thresholds for business customers, sales and market share are once again on an upward trajectory.

Lexus is likely to continue this momentum with a new smaller SUV arriving in showrooms before the end of the year. The new NX will be offered with the same four-cylinder petrol-electric powertrain as the IS 300h and GS 300h, providing a low-CO2 alternative to cars such as the diesel Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC90.

With fewer than 50 sales centres, the brand still has a small footprint in the UK, although the NX will be the model to help Lexus achieve consistent annual registrations above 10,000 units.

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