2010 Toyota Sai - Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota unveiled its de-badged Lexus HS250h/Sai in Tokyo this week and hopes that this model will be another incremental step toward its goal of 1,000,000 annual sales of hybrids. Initially at least, this will be a relatively small increment as the automaker is only looking to move about 36,000 Sais in the first year. That's similar to the number of HS units it wants to sell in North America. American consumers might wonder at why to produce another variant of the HS that is so similar. However, in Japan Toyota's sales network is quite different and there are multiple channels that don't all sell everything Toyota builds. In addition, there are quite a few models that are not offered outside of Japan. The Sai will sell for about $37,000, not that much less than the $43,000 Japanese price of the Lexus. The question at this point would be, if you like the styling of the Sai/HS250, why even consider the Lexus?

[Source: Reuters]
Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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