Today, Lexus is known as the premium hybrid car brand, particularly in Western Europe where a staggering 95% of its new car sales are hybrid.
And Lexus is clearly proud of selling so many hybrids: Head of Lexus Europe Alain Uyttenhoven travelled to Italy to help hand over the 1 millionth hybrid Lexus, an NX300h bought by first-time Lexus buyer Aldo Piranello.
The Milanese admits he was “surprised to hear that I was the buyer of the one millionth hybrid Lexus and I am honoured to help celebrate this important milestone.”
Lexus isn’t going to step back on its hybrid plans any time soon. Tokyo Fukuichi, president of Lexus International, confirmed “the hybrid powertrain continues to be our signature powertrain.
“We have set ambitious environmental goals for 2050 and the popularity of hybrid worldwide is extremely important for us in achieving these goals.”
It’s quite a turnaround, and quite a statement of success, for Lexus: just a few years back, some were still questioning why the brand focuses on hybrid at the expense of diesel. That was, of course, pre-dieselgate and before there was so much public awareness of risky NOx levels in city centres…
Lexus hybrid sales – in numbers
Lexus says the UK is one of its strongest European markets and, to the end of 2015, 65,246 hybrid Lexus have been sold here – including Motoring Research’s popular and eye-opening old IS 300h long-term test car.
In total, North America has taken 345,500 hybrid Lexus, Europe has bought 237,500 and Japan has taken 225,000. China and Hong Kong have to date bought less than 100,000, but this is growing fast – last year alone, more than 21,000 were sold…
And the most popular hybrid Lexus? The RX, with 335,000 global sales to the end of 2015. Next up, surprisingly, is the CT, followed by the U.S.-specific ES and HD, then the NX, GS, IS and LS.