70% of Toyotas to Be Hybrids

Hybrid cars are key to Toyota's luxury brand Lexus and Toyota will increase the proportion of hybrid cars to 70 percent of all sales, Akihisa Yoshida of the Korean subsidiary said Wednesday.

To compete with German diesel-powered vehicles, "we will keep focusing on the sales of hybrid models." He pledged to sell 13,000 cars including 6,000 Lexus in Korea this year.

Toyota sold just 12,863 Lexus and other cars here last year, down more than 18 percent on-year, even as the overall import market burgeoned 20 percent in Korea.

Akihisa Yoshida of Toyota Motor Korea poses at the launch of a new Lexus at COEX in Seoul on Wednesday. Akihisa Yoshida of Toyota Motor Korea poses at the launch of a new Lexus at COEX in Seoul on Wednesday.

The firm will open a new showroom in Seoul's affluent Gangnam district where customers can try out Lexus, he said, similar to dedicated outlets in Japan and Dubai.

He was speaking as Toyota rolled out the Lexus CT200h, a compact hatchback partially remodeled from the 2011 model. It comes with a 136 horsepower engine and can drive 18.1 km per liter of gasoline.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 27, 2014 12:14 KST