Production of the Lexus HS250h Comes to a Halt
Toyota confirmed it discontinued production of the Lexus HS 250h due to slow sales and the new model to arrive in August; the 2013 ES 300h is not a replacement of the previous model. Toyota axed the production of the slow-selling Lexus HS 250h after less than three years on the market. The car was sold mostly in Japan, the U.S and Canada. The U.S importer confirmed that the production of the hybrid-only HS sedan ceased in January. It was built in at Toyota Motor Kyushu’s Miyata plant in Japan’s southwest.
“Production of the HS 250h ceased in January, 2012. Lexus continues to monitor sales for each product and we make adjustments to make sure that we meet market demand, and the discontinuation of HS was part of that adjustment. The ES 300h is not replacing HS in our lineup. It’s merely part of the hybridization of many of our existing vehicles in the Toyota and Lexus lineups,” said Toyota. The HS 250h was launched at the Detroit motor show in January 2009 declaring it the world’s first premium brand hybrid-only model. It was based on the third generation Toyota Prius which also debuted at the same show.
Figures show that only 28 units of the HS were sold in April and 591 for the year to date. In 2011, only 978 were sold. The new hybrid model, ES 300h is due for launch in the U.S. Production will start at the Miyata plant in July with cars due in the showrooms at the start of the market’s 2013 model year. The new ES 300h will be powered by a 2.5-L four-cylinder engine and also a higher EPA fuel-economy rating compared to the HS 250h. This will be the first time that Toyota Motor Sales long time best selling Lexus sedan has been offered with a petrol-electric powertrain, thus making its sales performance interesting to look out for.