Two new models and growing popularity of self-charging hybrid powertrains expected to increase volume
Lexus aims to maintain or “gently build” its UK sales, despite the difficulties posed by the recent, pre-Brexit devaluation of the pound, by launching first a new ES saloon and then the compact UX crossover.
The UX, described by Lexus’s European boss Pascal Ruch as the most important car in Lexus’s European history, is an all-new rival for the BMW i3.
Despite claims that they will “never push volume”, in Europe, Lexus volume has expanded by 70% in the past four years, and is on course to top 100,000 units by 2020. UK volume currently runs at about 15,000 units.
Ruch believes the future for Lexus’s current range of “self charging hybrids” is bright for the next five to 10 years, especially since around 97% of its cars have this kind of Powertrain. “We think this is the best way of delivering very low CO2 and high efficiency, rather than having a lot of conventional cars and a few electric cars, like others.”
The arrival of the ES and UX will begin a cycle during which 70% of the UK line-up will be renewed by the end of 2019.