From: Rick Popely, Chicago Tribune
Published November 21, 2004 12:00 AM

Now, Lexus Hybrid Due Out in April, Toyota Says

Nov. 21—CHICAGO — The gas/electric Lexus RX400h sport-utility vehicle will go on sale April 15 as a 2006 model, about four

months later than planned.

A hybrid version of the similar Toyota Highlander is scheduled to follow by early July.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. says the introductions were delayed to increase production and reduce the wait for buyers.

Consumers have waited more than six months for the Toyota Prius hybrid because of demand. Spokesman John Hanson said even

with the delayed introduction, "we are absolutely sure we have a shortfall with both the 400h and the Highlander. We're doing

everything we can to soften the landing."

Lexus has nearly 10,000 orders for the 400h, though the vehicle hasn't been priced.

The Toyota division does not track early orders, but Hanson said more than 75,000 "hand raisers" have requested information

on the Highlander Hybrid through Toyota's Web site—

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