Lexus already has one of the most extensive ranges of hybrid vehicles on the market, and the company sees the technology as a way for it to differentiate itself in the luxury segment. The average hybrid buyer’s income level is relatively high, and vehicles like Toyota’s Prius doesn’t appeal to individuals in this segment. In a statement from Karl Schlicht, the Vice President of Lexus’ European division, he said “ideally, we would like that all the vehicles in the range Lexus were hybrid.”

In Europe, where fuel prices are much higher than they are here in the US, Lexus has been doing exceptionally well with its RX 400h hybrid and give reason to the automaker that going completely hybrid is not such a bad option. In Spain for example, seven out of every ten vehicles sold are diesel because of their improved economy over petrol vehicles.

Diesel is a path Lexus wants to travel, but the main goal of the Japanese label is to gain market share from its German competitors by competing in the hybrid niche. In order for this to happen, Schlicht concedes that the perception the public has for hybrid technology must evolve. Further, he adds that “Lexus does not want to follow the German’s with diesels because that way the company could only be good followers. We want to create our own segments for cars with smaller motors."