When Lexus brought the HS 250h to America, they mapped out some modest first year sales projections. With Toyota selling around 10,000 Prius units per month, Lexus was sure they could move 22,000 HS 250h units in their first year. Not so, and Lexus now admits they underestimated the power of the Prius brand.
The relative stabilization of gas prices didn’t help their case, either, and demand for luxury hybrid models remains low. Lexus has moved some 11,000 HS 250h models since sales began last August, but most of those sales were in the initial months. Based on current monthly sales volumes, Lexus will likely see about 14,000 units sold in the first year.
Unlike some hybrids, payback on the HS 250h fares well when compared to a comparable gas-only model (the IS 250) in Lexus’ product mix. Although based on different platforms, both cars are similar in size and performance. Assuming 12k miles per year with gasoline priced at $2.85 per gallon, the HS 250h will save a driver $376.68 on fuel per year compared to the IS 250. That’s enough to pay back the hybrid HS 250h’s price premium in just 3.5 years.