- Title: JAPAN: Toyota unveils its new hybrid-only Lexus model
- Date: 15th July 2009
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JULY 14, 2009) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF VENUE FOR TOYOTA LEXUS EVENT NEW LEXUS CARS ON DISPLAY CAR LICENSE PLATE READING "HS250H" TOYOTA OFFICIALS ARRIVING AT EVENT CLOSE-UP OF LEXUS LOGO TOYOTA OFFICIALS SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) AKIO TOYOTA, PRESIDENT OF TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, SAYING: "This new model is a dedicated hybrid model. Lexus models are designed to not only drive smoothly but also be eco-friendly, and this model takes up that challenge in the coming era." CAMERA CREWS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOSHIO FURUTANI, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR OF TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, SAYING: "Hybrid models make up more than half of all Lexus cars sold. So I would say hybrid technology is the biggest selling-point for Lexus now." NEW LEXUS HYBRID CARS ON DISPLAY LEXUS LOGO REAR OF LEXUS HYBRID CAR INTERIOR OF LEXUS HYBRID CAR
- Embargoed: 30th July 2009 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Industry,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVABXNKVX9VCT7T0NHS6JW0W1H95
- Story Text: Toyota Motor launched on Tuesday (July 14) its first dedicated hybrid model under the premium Lexus brand, saying it had received orders worth six months of targeted sales in Japan.
The launch of the HS250h sedan marks the latest push by the world's biggest automaker to drive fuel-sipping hybrids into the mainstream as governments around the world tighten emissions and fuel economy regulations while offering consumers incentives to purchase less-polluting cars.
Toyota expects monthly domestic sales of 500 units for the HS250h sedan, which does not have the unique design characteristics of the flagship Prius car but is only available as a gasoline-electric hybrid.
"This new model is a dedicated hybrid model. Lexus models are designed to not only drive smoothly but also be eco-friendly, and this model takes up that challenge in the coming era," Akio Toyota, Toyota's president, said during an event in Tokyo to launch the new model.
The HS250h starts at 3.95 million yen ($42,460) in Japan, making it the cheapest model in the Lexus line-up. As a hybrid, it would qualify for about 267,000 yen ($2,870) in "eco-car" tax breaks.
"Hybrid models make up more than half of all Lexus cars sold. So I would say hybrid technology is the biggest selling-point for Lexus now," said Toshio Furutani, senior managing director of Toyota Motor Corp., who added that the the company has already received nearly 3,000 orders for the new model in Japan alone.
Japan lowered taxes on greener vehicles last April in a step the auto industry expects will add 310,000 vehicles in sales in the financial year to March 2010.
The model will be sold in the United States and Canada from September, Toyota said. Until the end of 2009, Toyota plans to produce about 3,000 units per month.
The HS250h has listed mileage in Japan of 23.0 km/litre, comparable to a Vitz subcompact.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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