The Lexus CT200h saw its journey, in North America anyways, end in 2017. But the head of Lexus Europe, Pascal Ruch, says the model will live on.
The company wants to maintain its presence in the hatchback car segment. Lexus is readying the launch of the UX compact crossover, which has been widely seen as the natural replacement for the CT, even though the latter is still available in a number of markets.
Speaking with British publication AutoExpress, Ruch mentioned that the CT plays a crucial role for Lexus, which is to introduce new buyers to the brand. In fact, 70 to 75% of CT buyers have never owned a Lexus before, and as Ruch pointed out, this does not represent the target market of the new UX. He added, “I believe that all the segments we are now in, it's important to stay there”.
According to AutoExpress, a new CT version could be introduced in 2020 in both hybrid and all-electric formats. It would be built on the TGNA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. The new CT would possibly be offered as both a hatchback and a crossover, in the same vein as the Ford Focus and its Active variant. Pascal Ruch did say that Lexus would adopt a new approach with the CT as it evolves.
A relevant question for us, of course, is whether we will see it on the North American market. Lexus’ experience with the CT diverged wildly on the two sides of the Atlantic. In the United States, it sold roughly between 15,000 and 17,000 units annually from 2011 to 2015; in 2016, only 9,000 CTs sold there, and last year that dropped to 4,700. In Europe, a market in which Lexus sells 45,000 vehicles each year, the CT maintains average annual sales of 8,000 units.
We’ll be watching developments regarding this model closely.