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Lexus' HS250h hybrid sedan is having trouble meeting sales targets, due to the strength of the Prius as well as demand for the HS250h in Japan. Lexus is on track to sell about 14,000 HS250h hybrids this year, well below the projections of 20-22,000. So far just 4529 HS250h's have been sold.

In an interview with Ward's, a Lexus executive cited increased demand in Japan for the re-forecasting of sales numbers. "Right now, there's so much demand for that product in Japan…maybe 20,000-22,000 might be more realistic," said Mark Templin, Lexus Div. group vice president and general manager-Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. Templin also said that the company "underestimated the power of the Prius brand," citing the strength of Toyota's premiere hybrid.

While the HS250h seems like a slam dunk in light of the success of the Prius, the Toyota's distinctive shape has an eco-cachet that the Lexus' three-box design can't match. The typical Prius buyer (read: affluent) is also the same buyer that Lexus is going after, and you can bet that they will always gravitate towards the status symbol, especially the kind that the Prius represents.

More: Lexus HS250h Not Meeting Sales Targets on AutoGuide.com
 

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Does that bode well for the CT200? :s
I don't think it'll adversely affect CT. I've seen and read far more enthusiasm for CT than there ever was for HS.

There are several issues with HS 250h. For one, its price is perilously close to IS 250 and even ES 350, and you're getting a smaller car with a 4-cylinder engine whose styling (especially exterior) suffers in comparison to IS or ES. While HS's fuel economy ratings compare favorably wih a Smart car, they're still far below what you get from Prius or VW/Audi diesels.

By comparison, CT has more pleasing styling and a sportier stance and overall feel, and surely will deliver MUCH better fuel economy than HS.

Also, CT is expected to become Lexus' best-selling model in Europe, the world's most demanding and competitive auto market, whereas HS was roundly rejected by Lexus Europe executives and isn't even sold there, primarily because of its closeness to the British-built Toyota Avensis.
 

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So do you think they'll can the HS250h?
There are whispers out there that HS might be a one-generation model.

Lexus has admitted that its benchmark/target when developing the CT is the Audi A3. And, especially given the latest A4's notable growth spurt, it's an open secret that the next-gen Audi A3 will reportedly add a 4-door notchback sedan to its current 5-door hatch and (outside the U.S. & Canada) 3-door hatch and 2-door cabrio body styles. I wouldn't be surprised if a 2nd-gen Lexus CT sedan winds up replacing the HS.
 
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