Lexus wants to add to their US sales total by over 100,000 units a year and they are planning to trade on the environmental reputation they built with the Prius to do it. The new tag-line Lexus just introduced is "Gives more to the driver, takes less from the world," but the applications of hybrid technology in the Lexus lineup are clearly geared more toward improving performance than making much impact on efficiency.

Lexus already got reprimanded by the British advertising watchdog OFCOM for emphasizing the environmental friendliness of the RX400h in spite of the fact that it has CO2 emissions well above the average for European cars. Fortunately for Lexus the US government is unlikely to do anything about misleading advertising; after all why start now? One possible reason for Toyota to use Lexus to sell hybrids is that they can command a much higher price and likely generate enough profit to offset the loss they are probably taking on Prius and Camry hybrid sales.

[Source: Detroit News]

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