Lexus may replace the CT 200h with a new crossover, according to an Autocar interview with Lexus Europe vice-president Alain Uyttenhoven:
With sales of around 10,000 per year, the CT200h has not broken into the booming compact premium market in the way that Lexus had hoped, Uyttenhoven has admitted. That market segment is worth around 750,000 cars per year in Europe.
Uyttenhoven pointed out that “a full 50% of the European luxury car market exists below the €40,000 [£32,000] mark”. He added: “The only model we have in that segment is the CT200h.”
In the future, Lexus is hoping to capitalise on the move against diesel engines in city centres, with Uyttenhoven claiming that “300 European cities now have some law concerning access”. He also noted that petrol hybrid engines are especially low in NOx emissions.
While there’s no question that crossovers are taking over all segments of the automotive market, there’s still a place for cars — the CT doesn’t necessarily have to be cancelled just because Lexus introduces a sub-compact crossover.
It’s also worth pointing out that the CT was the best-selling Lexus model in Europe until the NX debuted last year, and that 10,000 CT sales a year means the hatchback accounts for 16% of all Lexus sales in the region.
The flip side of this news is that Lexus does have concrete plans to release a subcompact crossover in the near future, presumably using the recently trademarked UX nameplate.
(Thanks V. Modi!)