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Lexus set for record sales year as electrified deliveries boom


Lexus Australia is on target to deliver over 10,000 cars in a year for the first time, while hybrid, PHEV and EVs make up an ever-increasing sales share.

Lexus Australia has set a new monthly record for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric deliveries with 60 percent of all sales electrified.

Supply improvement of in-demand and often long-awaited vehicles helped the luxury brand register its strongest ever April, and second-best month in its history.

Lexus UX300e 72kWh 2023-1-2
The UX300e was the first pure electric vehicle Lexus introduced to Australia

Some 1274 units were delivered last month, up from just 552 the previous April. 

With 3625 new Lexus vehicles on Australian driveways to the end of April this year, and with “a massive injection of stock”, the luxury brand should easily report annual sales of over 10,000 for the first time.

Australia’s electrified take-up ahead of most Lexus markets

“In Australia, we’re kicking above our weight,” said Lexus Australia chief John Pappas of our hybrid, plug-in and battery electric take-up.

Lexus RZ 2023 driving 2
Lexus recently launched the all-electric RZ in Australia

Globally, Lexus’ electrified sales make up a 36 percent share. In Australia in 2022, it was a 46.3 percent electrified mix. “That’s a higher share than most markets, and this year we’re on track to do even better,” Mr Pappas said.

This puts Lexus Australia well on target to achieve its stated target of 80 per-cent electrified sales by the end of 2025. “If anything, that plan may be brought forward,” suggested the Lexus boss..

The figures were revealed as Lexus this week launched its new RZ SUV, its first electric vehicle developed on an exclusively electric platform. 

Lexus RX 350 F Sport 2023 front 3/4
Lexus’ RX SUV is available with hybrid power

Lexus said that 150 RZ orders had already been received, of the “at least” 500 examples promised in the first 12 months.

Additionally, the challengingly-styled LM people mover, revealed in China last month, will push hybrid sales further. It launches exclusively with hybrid powertrains.

Lexus’ new uber-luxury people mover – based on the Japan market’s Toyota Alphard and Vellfire – the LM arrives in the fourth quarter of this year as a 350h hybrid. This will be followed in early 2024 by a flagship turbo 500h hybrid.

The UX300e’s batteries are housed within its platform

“The LM is one of three fantastic new models that will land here (Australia) over the next 18 months or so,” Mr Pappas said.

He wouldn’t elaborate on what the other two models would be, but we’d speculate electrification will likely feature on both.

What’s the electrified take-up per model?

For the year thus far, Lexus’ ES sedan had a mighty 84 percent of its 579 sales made up of hybrids.

The RX large SUV fared even better: 85 percent of 637 sales in 2023 were hybrids.

Lexus ES 300h Sports Luxury 2022 grey driving
The hybrid system in the Lexus ES pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor

Half the UX small SUV’s 507 sales were hybrid or full electric, while the flagship LS sedan also had 50 percent hybrid take-up, with two out of the four sold being 500h models.

The brand’s strongest-selling NX was the anomaly: only 27 per cent of its 1572 sales have been hybrid. This, without question, due to poor availability of hybrid models. But last month, due to improved NX stock, the percentage of hybrid sales jumped to 41 percent.

This helped the overall Lexus sales total for the month eclipse 60 percent, and that upward trend’s sure to be maintained – and bettered – if hybrid supply can match demand.

The NX hybrid can be had in two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive form

Hybrid reinforcements are coming

Demand for electrified Lexus products has seen wait lists blow out to over a year across many models, and some order books closed altogether.

Mr Pappas said the “typical” wait was now between four and eight months for a new Lexus, including in-demand hybrids.

He said reducing wait times across the board was what Lexus Australia has been striving for these past three years, and it’s only now really coming to fruition.

2023 Lexus RZ450e front 3/4 grey
The RZ will be sold exclusively in a dual-motor, all-wheel drive configuration

“We’re getting a massive injection of stock for key models,” he said. “Particularly for hybrids, which continue to attract huge demand. As a result, wait times for many models have been reduced.”

Even so, Mr Pappas said the extended wait for the highly over-subscribed NX350h Sports Luxury “will continue for the foreseeable future.”

There’s slightly better news for the plug-in version of the NX. Order books had been temporarily shut, but that status has now moved to “expressions of interest.”