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Power of two proves global hit for Lexus.

LUXURY car maker Lexus is celebrating the success of its hybrid models, which now account for more than three-quarters of all models bought here.

The company says that the hybrid concept has captured the public's imagination by offering a combination of engine and battery power. Since the first RX 400h took to the road in 2005, through to the beginning of this month, Lexus has sold more than half a million vehicles equipped with its Lexus Hybrid Drive system.

In the year Lexus Hybrid Drive made its debut, 26,000 vehicles were sold, while by this month the annual total was 113,000. Today hybrids account for about 25%of all Lexus sales.

Europe is a strong market for Lexus hybrids, with 126,000 sold so far - about a quarter of the worldwide total. In Western Europe hybrids command a larger share, accounting for more than 85% of all models.

In the UK more than 32,700 Lexus hybrids have been bought, with the RX being the best-performing model and the CT 200h attracting new buyers to the Lexus brand.

The RX 400h, launched in 2005, was the world's first production full hybrid luxury SUV. Succeeded by the RX 450h in 2009, it has claimed the largest share of Lexus hybrid sales with 259,000 units sold so far.

Lexus's second hybrid model, the GS 450h, was introduced in 2006 and was the first premium production saloon to be fitted with a rear-wheel drive full hybrid powertrain. Global sales have so far reached 32,000, with a significant boost achieved this year following the introduction of the new generation model, with 8,000 bought since January. The LS 600h extended the range further in 2007, marking another world-first in being the first production car to use a full hybrid powertrain with a V8 engine. It remains the most powerful hybrid vehicle on the road The latest expansion of the range is the ES 300h, which went on sale earlier this year and has notched up more than 8,000 sales.

In the UK more than 32,700 Lexus hybrids have been bought, with the RX being the best-performing model and CT 200h attracting new buyers

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DUAL DELIVERY Lexus says its hybrid RX 450h model has really caught the imagination of the public, with more than half a million vehicles sold
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2012
Words:392
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