Lexus Hopes LC 500h Will Change Hybrid Perception in Europe
While Lexus Europe may not be forecasting big sales for the upcoming LC coupe, it’s a very important model for the region — from a WardsAuto interview with Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe:
“The market for high-end sports cars is 40,000 per year,” Uyttenhoven says. “If we sell a few hundred in Germany, it’s not enough to say we are making big inroads in terms of share. But yes, in terms of image, it’s a change for Lexus.”
The LC 500h fits within the emerging class of premium sporty hybrids, such as the BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder and the new Acura NSX.
“This car brings the hybrid into the domain of high performance,” Uyttenhoven says. “I was discussing with an engineer…that technically it would be possible to spin the wheels on dry asphalt with this hybrid. It’s strange but technically possible. That’s a big change for us.”
The WardsAuto article also has some insight into Lexus Europe’s expectations for the 2016 sales year:
In 2015, Lexus sold 652,000 vehicles globally, and only 64,000 of those deliveries occurred here in Western Europe, arguably the most important and diverse luxury market in the world.
Lexus is looking to sell 70,000 cars in the region this year, and central to the strategy is offering hybrids as an alternative to diesels, which remain popular across Europe.