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 total sales last year were just behind where the brand was in 1999 but model development has recently seen a resurgence in demand.

The CT200h has been hailed as the model that Lexus 'has been crying out for' to ramp up sales through its dealer network.

The CT200h is the first compact five-door car from the Japanese prestige brand. This is also the lowest priced Lexus, costing from £23,485. The carmaker wants to ramp this up to 10,600 by 2012, and CT200h will account for more than half of that total.

Customers are expected to come from other premium brands as well as mainstream ones, including Lexus’s parent Toyota.

Toyota GB’s research shows that 10% of Toyota owners leave the brand each year to upgrade to premium models, but only 10% of these have bought a Lexus until now because there was no compact, lower priced cars in its range.

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