The introduction of the Toyota C-HR and the lack of popularity of the Lexus CT200h compact hybrid will see the premium Japanese brand work its way around a new C-segment crossover.
Lexus has found out the crossovers sell well even if they have compact dimensions – just look at the popularity of the new NX series. And the CT200h compact hybrid is a truly forgetful experience (aside from a great sound system) – meaning they need a compact showing if they want to prevail in Europe in the face of greater competition from Infiniti and its Q30 / QX30 offerings. According to European leader Alain Uyttenhoven, since Toyota has already outed the quirky C-HR (coupe high riding in translation) as a hybrid model, the CT200h compact hybrid could get a crossover replacement.
In the future, Lexus is hoping its green technology will bring more market share as countries are moving to impose diesel restrictions in city centers. “In Europe, we need to get annual Lexus sales above the 100,000 mark – something that would finally give us visibility in the market,” said Uyttenhoven. “You need to command 5% of the segment to become a real player.” This could be due to growth in the popular crossover segment. For example, Lexus is expecting 200,000 sales for the new generation RX crossover and the smaller NX model is also coming in close at a figure of 160,000-170,000 units this year.