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Buyers of Lexus RX500h face 12-month wait

New $126K Lexus RX500h range-topper to form 25pc of RX sales – if supply is available

6 Feb 2023

SUPPLY constraints and microprocessor shortages look set to continue impacting supply times of highly specified new cars in 2023, with Lexus Australia saying its newly introduced $126K RX flagship may face delays of up to 12 months.


The RX500h – a turbocharged petrol-electric hybrid variant that replaces the outgoing RX450h – offers a bevy of technology that includes an intelligent driveline offering all-wheel drive, impressive acceleration times and noteworthy fuel economy.


However, Lexus Australia chief executive John Pappas said ongoing industry-wide issues, coupled with outstanding global demand, could see Australian buyers waiting up to a year for delivery of their car.


“Overall, supply looks pretty good, and we’ve got pretty healthy orders on our RX at the moment,” he said.


“If you look at wait times on the RX now, most of our grades have between a two- and six-month delivery time, but the RX500h is a little bit longer at the moment – it’s just under 12 months or so.


“However, our indication is that supply for the rest of the year is improving. It’s a dynamic situation and it can be very volatile. If we can control that, we’ll do our best together with our local colleagues to get as much supply as soon as we can – and keep our customers informed throughout the process as best as possible.”


Mr Pappas said that early indications showed the flagship model was likely to form a quarter of all RX sales over the next 12 months, with the petrol-powered RX350 line-up also contributing to 25 per cent of local RX sales.


The remaining portion 50 per cent would come from sales of RX350h (petrol-electric hybrid) variants.


Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the Lexus RX in Melbourne, Mr Pappas said that there was also particularly strong customer interest in F Sport variants, mirroring trends seen elsewhere in the premium SUV sector.


“Lexus performance is a core part of our DNA. Expanding the F line and bringing in a new grade of F performance car, is based on the research that a lot of customers – here and globally – have that sort of expectation,” he said.


“This is always taken into concern when we bring new technologies to market, we have to be able to meet the expectations of not only our loyal customers going forward, but also when bringing new customers to the brand as well.


“I think that’s why we’re seeing such high numbers of people focusing on the F performance car – over 25 per cent of orders, to recap. Across our range, in fact, Australian buyers have a really good appetite for performance-oriented vehicles. We love them.”


Mr Pappas went on to say that Lexus Australia was particularly excited about the new RX500h, saying the model is a true indicator of the direction of the short-term future of the brand and a new direction in hybrid electric technology, and believes buyers interested in sampling the latest from the brand will be drawn to the model irrespective of wait times.


“Ever since the RX500h was announced, customers have recognised that it is something truly special – it represents a new direction in hybrid electric technology, delivering a more engaging driving experience with the primary focus on performance,” he stated.


“It’s a complete package ensuring maximum control, confidence, and comfort – the three Cs that are essential to the Lexus driving signature. It is a major step forward in dynamics.”


Mr Pappas said more than 42,400 examples of the RX have been sold here since its introduction in 2003, making the nameplate a cornerstone of the brand’s sales in Australia.


“The RX is a core model for Lexus in Australia. Of the 3.5 million sales globally, more than 42,400 have been in Australia,” he reaffirmed.


“It is a remarkable heritage when you look at it … and now with the arrival of the new RX we have a further symbol of the full-scale changes taking place at Lexus, in tune with this new era of electrified vehicles.


“This is a vehicle that breaks design and technology boundaries, increases the breadth of its capabilities, and appeals to an even wider customer base, which is very exciting for us.”


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