Hybrid Desire Deconstructed

Dec. 19, 2006: The Sydney Morning Herald—Hey, It’s a Hybrid!

Summary: "Ralph Weyler runs worldwide sales and marketing for Audi, which is headed for its 11th straight sales record. So when he talks marketing, smart people listen. Weyler has some advice for Lexus, and the people at Lexus are smart.

At a European airport recently, Weyler saw a guy climb out of his Dassault Falcon jet and into a Toyota Prius.

Clearly this guy could afford any car; his choice was, Weyler says, a clear indication he wanted to be green – or to be seen to be green. This, he says, is the shortcoming of the Lexus hybrids. The guy in the Dassault Falcon drove a Prius because people know a Prius is a hybrid. But the Lexus hybrids look like regular models. So, at the very least, Lexus needs to increase the size of its badges."

Apart from this article being a review of the Lexus RX400h, it brings up a good question: why do people want hybrid cars? Is it to be green, or is it to be seen being green?

After all, you could be a lot greener by not owning a car at all.

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  • RB

    The Prius is to hybrids what the Corvette is to sports cars. The car is a statement, just like driving slow in the fast lane.

  • Old Man Crowder

    Okay, so let me get this straight…

    A marketing guy from an automaker that has yet to produce ANYTHING hybrid (or fuel efficient, for that matter) is giving advice to a another automaker that has produced 2 hybrids that 90% of the population will NEVER be able to afford; and he does this by talking about how a rich guy just finished destroying the ozone in his private jet and then easing his conscience by driving a Prius but could have done so in a big honkin’ hybrid SUV.


  • Lans

    I am disappointed that Audi (and VW) still has no plan for hybrid but to say “(or fuel efficient, for that matter)” is not accurate and unfair! :p For example, the A3 2.0 TDI has 40 / 61 mpg.

    I personally would love to see a diesel-hybrid.