The start of September saw Lexus deliver its five millionth SUV globally since the first – the LX Series – was released in 1996.
While Australia’s slice of that total is a mere 67,300 vehicles since local launch in 1998, Lexus Australia says we make a far greater contribution than the figure suggests, with a per capita sales rate four times higher than the global average.
"Australia is punching above its weight in global sales because each Lexus SUV offers local buyers a unique combination of bold design, adventure capability, renowned Lexus craftsmanship and sophisticated technology," said Lexus Australia Chief Executive Scott Thompson.
Across the four different Lexus SUV model families currently offered in Australia - RX, NX, LX and UX – are growing in popularity, reflecting global trends where SUV sales have been outstripping those of conventional sedans and coupes.
To date, of the 145,000 Australian-delivered Lexus vehicles, SUVs have accounted for 46.2 per cent of that total, and approximately two-thirds of the brand’s annual sales since 2014. So far in 2020, SUVs account for a significant 81.9 per cent of Australian sales.
Global launch – 1998, Australian launch – 2003
Global sales – 3,136,223 (Jun 2020), Australian sales – 38,518 (Aug, 2020)
The global debut of the RX in 1998 paved the way for a segment – large - that would become the most popular category for buyers of luxury vehicles.
Since its launch, the RX SUV has surpassed three million sales worldwide. In Australia, the RX is the top-selling Lexus SUV, with almost 40,000 registrations since arriving here in second-generation form in 2003. In the Jan-Jun period of 2020, Lexus sold 1,025 units of the RX locally.
Global launch – 2014, Australian launch – 2014
Global sales – 853,035 (Jun, 2020), Australian sales – 19,470 (Aug, 2020)
Lexus’s medium SUV contender, the NX, has exceeded 850,000 sales since its global debut at the beginning of 2014. Arriving in Australia later that same year, the NX has gone on to become the best-selling Lexus SUV here, with a cumulative total of close to 20,000 sales - second only to the RX. For the first six months of 2002, the NX has been the most popular Lexus across the board, with 1,931 sales for the Jan-Jun period.
Global launch – 1996, Australian launch – 1998
Global sales – 487,229 (Jun, 2020), Australian sales – 6,296 (Aug, 2020)
The flagship Lexus LX upper-large SUV is approaching 500,000 sales across 24 years since its global debut in 1996. Despite being available in Australia for as almost as long as the RX (1998 release), the LX’s ultra-premium price tag has limited sales to just 6,300 units since launch, with local buyers seemingly preferring the LandCruiser 200 Series on which it’s based – and which is around 15 per cent cheaper.
The four-wheel-drive LX 470 was the first Lexus SUV to be released in Australia, arriving in 1998 and followed by the LX 570 in 2008, while the twin-turbo V8 diesel-powered LX 450d joined the line-up in 2018.
Global launch – 2018, Australian launch – 2018
Global sales – 110,899 (Jun, 2020), Australian sales – 3,017 (Aug, 2020)
The newest Lexus SUV, and also the cheapest, the compact UX has exceeded 100,000 global sales since its debut in 2018. Despite only arriving in Australia last year, the UX has been embraced by the “urban” SUV and crossover crowd, so is on track to eclipse NX sales. In little more than 18 months, 3,000 units of the UX have been sold in Australia.
In Australia, Lexus hybrid SUV sales began in 2006 with the RX 400h - the world's first hybrid-powered luxury SUV. Today, hybrid variants account for more than one-quarter of Lexus SUV sales in Australia.