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Lexus to target new RX 4x4 hybrid at executive saloon market

Date: 06 March 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Lexus aims to pitch its new RX hybrid model at buyers who wouldn't ordinarily consider a 4x4 because of its emissions.

The prestige RX450h has an official ultra-low CO2 figure CO2 figure of 148g/km, putting it well below the all-important 160g/km threshold for capital allowance taxation.

Not only does the RX450h beat all large 4x4s with this CO2 figure, it also beats many executive saloons and estates.

"Mid year will see the RX450h arrive," said Lexus managing director Belinda Poole. "148g/km is a stunning figure - we were hoping for just below 170g/km or 160g/km.

"Below 160 means we're looking to talk to different types of customers, not just 4x4 buyers. We're keeping a very open approach.

"We won't sell them all to business - there's a big retail base with traditional petrol-car buyers.

"The mix will be about 55% business, 45% retail. There will, however, be a lot of small business buyers."

Pricing and the number of cars that will arrive in the UK have yet to be set, according to Poole. However, she did hint that Lexus's overall pricing would rise this year.

"Our position comes down to competitor pricing - we look at where we need to be targeted against competitors," said Poole.

"Our rivals have all taken actions on pricing recently and we will look at ours. Time will tell if customers will stand the pricing actions."