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Lexus HS 250h

Lexus CT 200h
Lexus HS 250h could get kicked to the curb

When it comes to hybrid vehicles, Toyota has had plenty of success with its Prius, Camry, and Highlander. Toyota's Lexus division also has a few hybrids in its portfolio, but premium pricing means that sales of these models pale in comparison to their plebeian Toyota counterparts. One model in particular, the HS 250h, is sinking in the marketplace.
 
Left Lane News (via Ward's Auto) is reporting that the Lexus division is looking to kill the HS 250h after it only found 205 U.S. buyers in October of this year. For the January through October 2011 period, sales for the hybrid dropped nearly 73 percent compared to the same period last year to fewer than 2,400 units.
 
The HS 250h has plenty of strikes against it; one of which is the pricing. The vehicle has a starting price of $37,000. The second issue is that the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is larger, more fuel-efficient, and undercuts the HS 250h by a few thousand dollars. The third problem is that its CT 200h sibling starts at around $30,000, offers better fuel efficiency, greater cargo flexibility, and livelier handling.
 
In addition, the CT 200h appeals to a younger clientele that Lexus is desperately seeking -- the HS 250h on the other hand attracts a much older buyer (and not very successfully as the sales numbers prove).
 
Lexus has its work cut out for it if wants to build a successor to the HS 250h that actually strikes a chord with consumers. They could start by dropping the price, upping the fuel efficiency, and giving the vehicle an exterior that would actually make onlookers' pulse rise instead of flatline.

Sources: Left Lane News, Wards Auto (Subscription)





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