South Africa: The Gangsta Lexus Eco Effect


While Lexus has found global favour with both the hip-hop and eco community, locally the Japanese luxury brand still only has niche appeal. Perhaps the recent launch of the RX 450h and RX 350 F-Sport will start changing that.

Cars often mirror their owners. Just like I expect that a Beemer driver is going to cross two N1 lanes at breakneck speed and accelerate up my rear or the girl in the Chevy Spark will be crawling at 60km/h, in the fast lane, filing her nails -- when I see a vehicle with an L-shaped spindle, I assume that the person behind the wheel is interesting, intelligent and eco-conscious. After all, for more than three decades, Lexus has been at the forefront of pioneering sustainability. It currently offers the largest line-up of premium electrified models globally with more than 1.45 million hybrid vehicle sales worldwide.

While the global Lexus brand is flourishing, selling its 10-millionth unit in February 2019, since its local debut in 1994, fewer than 20,000 new units have sold here in 25 years. Numbers speak volumes. When you think of parent company Toyota's record-breaking sales in SA -- in 2018 it sold a whopping 133,603 vehicles --...

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