Sedans are a dying breed. Indeed, at least one Lexus exec thinks that saloons could disappear from the marketplace altogether in the next few years if they don't adapt. According to Automotive News, Global Branding Chief Tokuo Fukuichi says that Lexus saloons moving forward need to develop two strategies in order to survive the SUV onslaught: driving dynamics, and a rethinking of modern luxury.
Fukuichi says that with more crossovers handling like cars, saloons need to develop even better driving dynamics. He says luxury saloons also need to "lighten up", citing consumer desires for more simplistic versions of luxury. Interestingly enough, Fukuichi even says that a Lexus estate could help bring the saloon back from the brink.
"Unless we can really offer a saloon experience you cannot have with an SUV or crossover, I think the saloon may not be able to survive if it does not evolve," said Fukuichi in an interview. "At a certain point of time, the traditional, square, three-box saloon will go away."
Already, rumours have suggested that Lexus will eventually part ways with at least one of its current luxury saloons, the GS, in place of a more streamlined ES to accent the new LS (pictured here), which made its debut earlier in the year in Detroit. That would include the adoption of Lexus’ new turbocharged V6 and improved driving dynamics. It remains to be seen whether this U.S.-market model would go on sale in Europe.
It's also rumoured that Lexus will introduce a third crossover to its lineup, the UX, which we saw make its concept debut last year. That would make three crossovers in total for the luxury brand alongside the RX and smaller NX. The UX would reportedly be positioned below the NX, making it the smallest offering in the lineup.
Source: Automotive News