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Lexus UK goes hybrid

Hybrid only: Lexus UK will only sell the hybrid version of its LS limo.

Lexus Australia won’t follow UK’s lead to go all-hybrid with GS, LS

Lexus logo31 Aug 2009

LEXUS Australia says it will not follow its British counterpart in discontinuing petrol versions of its GS large sedan and LS limousine.

Lexus UK announced its decision to can the GS300, GS460 and LS460 last week, with a company spokesman telling Autocar it was a “logical move for the company”.

While the petrol V6-powered IS250 and turbo-diesel IS220d continue on sale in the UK, the Toyota luxury brand launched its new RX crossover in Britain as a hybrid-only model, meaning the Lexus large-car line-up in the UK now comprises only the GS450h, LS600h and RX450h.

A local Lexus spokesman said the move would not be echoed in Australia, which he described as a very different market to the UK, primarily because of that nation’s CO2-based vehicle taxation system which made the GS460 and LS460 more expensive and less popular relative to the hybrid versions of both models.

To July this year in Australia, the GS450h and LS600hL comprise around 35 per cent of GS and LS sales, with this year’s new RX450h attracting “extremely high” demand.

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