Lexus Plans to Sell 25,000 Hybrid HS250 in Model Year One

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Now that New GM is aborning, does Toyota feel obliged to become old GM? Seriously. I’ll forgo the recap (feel free to discuss this amongst yourselves) and get straight to the latest ill-advised Toyota: the new Lexus HS250. Yes, they’re right: they’ll sell 25,000 of the suited and booted Prius clones in the first year (which says bad, bad things about the Volt’s prospects BTW). And I’m sure the HS’s hybrid powertrain will kick ass, ’cause the Lexus LS 600hL is a sweet motor. But why are these Lexus guys constantly chasing volume, in a Cadillac kinda way? And if you think I’m just putting the hate on ToMoCo (Death Watch transference?), consider the fact that the group vice president of the Lexus Division for Toyota North America is seeing lights at the end of tunnel—just like the federal teat suckling infernal optimists over in Detroit.

“We feel like we’ve hit the bottom in the last three to four weeks,” Mark Templin told Reuters. Just for fun he also predicted the US market would start a gradual recovery in the back end of ’09, with total US new car sales topping 10 million units. “People are feeling better about the economy, and our dealers are asking for more cars. That’s a good sign,” Templin said.

Yup. That’s one.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 40 comments
  • No_slushbox No_slushbox on Jun 12, 2009
    T2: "This class of vehicle" should never be used with regard to the ES. The ES may have less body roll than the Buick that many ES buyers are coming from, but it is not a sport sedan, that is why Lexus builds the brilliant IS. And the Camry has an independent rear suspension these days. If you wanted a sport sedan you would have bought the IS or a G35. You wanted a loaded, quieter Camry - nothing wrong with that.
  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jun 12, 2009
    If those “fugly” comments were evenly distributed, whatever, but unsurprisingly it’s the critical word of choice for people who can formulate no rational argument against hybrid vehicles. How about this: I really like hybrids, quite like the look of both the second and third-generation Priuses and I think this car is very, very ugly. It's like the Prius, but without the virtues of versatility and price. I don't think there's anything really wrong with a Lexus hybrid, but I don't think that the car should be something that looks, for all the world, like a badly bling-afflicted Corolla. Lexus can make attractive cars, and hybrids work for the brand, but they really ought to have slapped the Camry's powertrain into the ES and/or IS and let it be. The HS really is spectacularly unattractive, and looks like they tried---and failed---to apply Lexus design cues to a platform wholly unsuited to them. If it were my money to spend on a Lexus hybrid, it'd be the GS400h all the way. Were I wanting more mileage, I'd just get a top-trim Camry or Prius.
  • Jeff Puthuff Jeff Puthuff on Jun 12, 2009

    I'm curious as to how the older demographic will handle the HS' computer mouse-like systems controller. Weekly, my grandfather calls me to ask why his DirecTV remote doesn't work. "Ya gotta push SAT and then change the channel, Pa."

  • BDB BDB on Jun 12, 2009

    If Toyota is the New GM, the HS250 is the new Cimmaron.