Toyota has begun selling its latest Lexus hybrid models at a cheaper price tag than its gasoline cars in a bid to recover the market share it has ceded to European rivals BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi, which won over customers by offering fuel-efficient diesels.
Toyota Korea held a launching ceremony on Thursday for its mid-sized sixth-generation Lexus ES model in Korea and has now begun taking orders.
The new model features a wheel base 45 mm longer than its predecessor, creating room for an interior that is almost the size of a large sedan. The basic gasoline version of the ES350 costs W56.3 million (US$1=W1,128), while the luxury version costs W62.3 million. The basic hybrid version ES300h costs W55.3 million, while the premium model costs W61.3 million.