From: Kyodo News International, Tokyo
Published April 25, 2005 12:00 AM

Toyota Gets Triple the Orders it Expected for Hybrid SUVs

NAGOYA, Japan — Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday orders for its two new models of gasoline-electric hybrid sport utility vehicles were three times its initial monthly projection of 1,000 units.

Orders for the Harrier and Kluger Hybrids came to 3,200 units in the one-month period from their debut on March 22 in Japan, Toyota said, adding that it had projected monthly orders of 500 for each.

Some 2,200 customers have placed orders for the Harrier Hybrid, while the Kluger Hybrid has drawn 1,000 orders.

There is an average three-month wait for delivery of the Harrier Hybrid, and one month for the Kluger Hybrid.

A Toyota spokesman said the two models have "won over the hearts of male drivers in their 40s and at higher age brackets." The U.S. version of the Harrier Hybrid will roll into U.S. showrooms later this month under the name Lexus RX400h.

Pre-sale orders for the Lexus RX400s have ballooned to 12,000 in response to the automaker's announcement last fall that it will introduce the hybrid SUV.

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