Break out the confetti and champagne.
After hitting the ten million mark in global sales only 18 months ago, and five-million SUVs sold last June, Lexus now has another anniversary to celebrate. The Japanese manufacturer has now sold a million cars in Europe since the brand’s introduction in 1990, mostly thanks to the growing demand for hybrids.
Lexus acknowledges where sales took wind – introducing the world’s first luxury hybrid SUV, the RX 400h, in 2005. “It may have been a modest beginning, but it signaled the start of a transformation of the premium car market, with the LS redefining what a luxury car should be in terms of performance, efficiency, and advanced equipment features.”
Since then, the SUV crossover range has expanded to include the RX, RX L, NX, and the UX. Some markets, like Russia, also get the LX and GX. Hybrid powertrains now make up 96% of the units shipped. So, it is rather fitting that Lexus market the anniversary with the release of its first BEV, the UX 300e.
At the top of the best-selling Lexus in Europe is the RX with 289,284 units. Meanwhile, the IS takes second with 202,210 cars. The NX is next, with 155,366 units shipped and then 97,637 CTs, 74,998 GSs, 58,234 LXs and 39,059 LSs.
On a lower note, Lexus’ jaw-dropping supercar entry, the LFA, sold only 38 units but at £343,000 per piece, the number is somewhat explainable.
The rise in PHEV and BEV sales in Europe is one of the only positives coming from this Covid-wrecked year. While leading investors and banks, including JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, have predicted the cost of manufacturing an EV will equal that of traditional ICE vehicles by 2025, it’s up to carmakers and the suppliers to bring this reality. If more of them choose to go for the emission regulations loophole, i.e., buying credits, it will be a slow crawl.