Lexus’ compact hybrid never really took off, ever since it was introduced in 2010, and with sales sitting at around 10,000 units per year, the compact hybrid is close to ending its life cycle – and might not get a successor.
Talking to Autocar, the brand’s European sales chief, Alain Uyttenoven, hinted that the CT200h could be killed off in mid-2018 and replaced by the production version of the LF-SA concept.
Despite delivering a total of 652,000 vehicles last year and making a strong comeback in the US, Lexus continues is not having an easy time in Europe, where it sold 64,000 examples in 2015 and expects more than 70,000 units to find new homes this year. According to Uyttenhoven, “a full 50% of the European luxury car market exists below the €40,000 (~$45,000) mark. The only model we have in that segment is the CT200h.“
If the study gets the green light, then it will become Lexus’ smallest hybrid crossover and slot in below the NX 300h. Common sense dictates its futuristic design will be somewhat toned down, but its 2+2 layout could be maintained.
The Japanese brand follows the increased demand in crossovers and SUVs globally and in 2015 alone, 150,000 units of the current RX were sold, with the figure expect to rise to 200,000 this year. The RX’s smaller sibling, the NX, was delivered in 150,000 examples last year and the number is believed to reach 160,00-170,000 units in 2016.