MAJORCA -- Lexus has given the second-generation NX only hybrid powertrains -- including the brand's first plug-in hybrid -- in most European markets as it seeks to gain market share in the premium midsize SUV segment, which is led by the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60, BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
The NX will start at 45,700 euros ($52,700) in Germany, with the first deliveries scheduled for early 2022.
The first-generation NX was introduced in 2014 and became Lexus’ best-selling model in Europe, with more than 175,000 units sold, most of them to customers new to the brand, Lexus said. Currently, the NX accounts for about one-third of Lexus’ European sales volume.
Through August, Lexus had sold 9,440 NXs, with total brand sales of 31,877, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
Lexus hopes the new NX will significantly outsell the current model and help the brand increase market share, Spiros Fotinos, the head of Lexus Europe, told Automotive News Europe at a test-drive event in here.
“We think in 2022 we will reach at least 6 percent market share in the D [midsize] premium SUV segment, while today we are at 3.6 percent. Specifically to the NX, I think that 36,000 units per year in Europe [including eastern European markets] is a result we can achieve." Fotinos said.
The NX will be offered with a full-hybrid powertrain as the NX 350h, or, in a first for Lexus, a plug-in hybrid as the NX 450h+. The SUV will be built at Lexus’ factory in Kyushu, Japan, on parent Toyota Motor’s GA-K platform.
Fotinos said he expected NX sales to be evenly divided between full-hybrid and plug-in versions, with the plug-in hybrid having a higher share in countries with strong incentives such as France or Germany.
Segment-leading models from Mercedes, Volvo, BMW and Audi all offer plug-in hybrids.