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April 26, 2005

JAPAN: Orders for hybrid Toyota SUVs exceed projections

Toyota has said that orders for its two new hybrid sport utility vehicles were three times its initial monthly projection of 1,000 units.

Toyota has said that orders for its two new hybrid sport utility vehicles were three times its initial monthly projection of 1,000 units.

Orders for the Harrier (aka Lexus RX series) and Kluger (Highlander) hybrids came to 3,200 units in the one-month period from their debut on March 22 in Japan, Toyota told Kyodo News, adding that it had projected monthly orders of 500 for each.

Some 2,200 customers reportedly have placed orders for the Harrier Hybrid, while the Kluger Hybrid has drawn 1,000 orders, and there is an average three-month wait for delivery of the Harrier Hybrid, and one month for the Kluger Hybrid.

A Toyota spokesman reportedly said the two models have ”won over the hearts of male drivers in their 40s and at higher age brackets.”

Kyodo News noted that the US version of the Harrier Hybrid will roll into US showrooms later this month under the name Lexus RX400h – pre-sale orders have ballooned to 12,000 in response to the automaker’s announcement last autumn that it would introduce the hybrid SUV.

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