Sales Drop Spells the End of Lexus’ Best-Selling Hybrid
For most of us, six years does not seem all that long. Over the past six years, however, the automotive industry has seen a rapid advancement in hybrid and electric technology. Six years ago the Tesla Model S was still a year away from release, and the second generation Prius was only a year into production.
It was at that time that Lexus first released their CT200h; a car that would change the luxury-hybrid segment. Six years later, however, the CT is still very much the same car, and no longer changing the game.
Since its release in 2011, the Lexus CT200h has been the brand’s entry-level offering for anyone looking to dip a toe into the luxury segment. It was recently announced, however, that the hybrid hatchback will not return to the U.S. market for the 2018 model year.
Competition Leaves Lexus in the Dust
Despite its original success, Lexus sold just 8,903 copies of the CT200h in 2016, a fraction of the sales numbers seen by other entry-luxury models. Competitors Mercedes-Benz and Audi sold 25,792 copies of the CLA-class and 31,538 copies of the A3, respectively, during the same time frame.
Competition from other brands has not been the only problem for the CT200h. Based on the old Prius platform, the CT began to look a bit outdated in recent years; especially when compared to its younger cousin, the third-gen Prius, whose EPA estimated 52 mpg combined far outclassed the CT’s EPA estimated 42 mpg. Sales in the first five months of 2017 were down more than 10 percent from the previous year. Even with that drop, it was the best-selling Lexus hybrid.
For those concerned with the disappearance of the CT200h, fear not. A new subcompact crossover called the UX will arrive soon, and a likely hybrid model will replace the outgoing hatchback.
For now, though, buyers looking for an entry-level Lexus will have to turn to the NX crossover or shop around for the last CTs still on the lot.
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