• Dec 21, 2010
In the two decades plus since Toyota launched Lexus as its premium marque, the brand has spread from its original market in North America to new markets around the world. Karl Schlicht has been with the company even longer: he's now head of global marketing and product planning for Lexus, and he's got a big job on his hands.

The trouble is that while North American buyers may want one thing from their luxury automobiles – values which Lexus was built on from the get-go – customers in Europe or Asia may want something else. Satisfying everyone's taste is no mean feat, but Schlicht's working on remaking Lexus to that end.

According to Automotive News, the idea is called "progressive luxury", and it's already taken hold with the new CT 200h. That's the direction Lexus is heading, with more sport models and more hybrids. The future that Schlicht and company have in store for the marque involves more "expressive, daring designs" than the largely derivative and bland styling statements on many current and past models, more hybrids, more advanced telematics (navigation and communications) systems, more performance-oriented F and F Sports packages, as well as reaching into new segments.

Along the way, Schlicht says Lexus will need a new coupe to replace the discontinued SC430 as well, and while new crossovers or SUVs could be in the works (in addition to the LX, GX and RX lines), going even smaller than the CT to tackle Mini territory isn't in the cards.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Acura needs to learn from them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "going even smaller than the CT to tackle Mini territory isn't in the cards."

      Doubtful, the CT's had a cool enough reception in Europe, it's going to take a tremendous shift in corporate culture for Lexus do remotely approach the appeal of the mini to Europeans, let alone compete with it.

      Europeans Americans
      Lexus is a brand dependent on america and American sales for survival, those sort of brands typically review as watered down or derivative across the pond. Look no further than Lexus and Infiniti sales figures over yonder.

      Stick to Americans Lexus, they're the reason you exist and they're the taste you appeal to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly my same sentiments. Enough with all these lame subcompacts and hybrids models. Lexus needs to get back to it's core which is designing and producing luxury automobiles. If Lexus is really taking this disturbing approach in the future with it's lineup of new models, then unfortunately we may be looking at the next Acura very soon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The list of fails from Toyota grows exponentially daily.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lexus's slogan should be "New Buick"
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The IS-F's performance is right on par with the M3, RS4, and C63. Research it. When the 3rd generation IS comes around, it'll be much improved and might even beat all 3."

        On par with the RS4, M3 and C63? OMG, no you need to do your research. The IS-F was always last in comparisons since it's introduction, in fact it wasn't until this year that IS-F was able to keep up. Lexus had to overhaul the suspension, subframe and add a LSD fort it could keep up. The last C/D lightning lap it was slower than a Cobalt SS. The M3 , C63 and RS4 all beat the IS-f which was 4 sec slower than the next slowest the RS4 which was only in it's last year of production for that platform. On par indeed. lol Lexus still sells, but don't confuse Lexus or Toyota with real performance just yet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Perhaps you mean "Oldsmobile".
        • 4 Years Ago
        The GS-H is a hybrid, hence the "h" like in other "h" models in the Lexus lineup.

        The IS-F's performance is right on par with the M3, RS4, and C63. Research it. When the 3rd generation IS comes around, it'll be much improved and might even beat all 3.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your so right.. because the ISF, LFA, GSH, LS600h, LX570 and the upcoming GSF all have some much in common with Buicks . . .
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope the SC replacement is more like the sporty SC300 rather than the bland SC430 hard top convertible that it turned into.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Those 2 cars should never be in the same picture ever again. And lol on 'progressive luxury'
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's nothing wrong with having a Mazda 3 and Mitzubishi Eclipse in the same picture, but what's Toyota trying to get away with by pasteing their Lexus logo on the front of the 3 anyway? They should have used a Scion logo.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The CT is a fine car for what it does and look good too ( needs to be lower n less wheel gap )... just could have been better with a petrol engine, AWD n turbo... one can only dream..
        • 4 Years Ago
        ewww, an ugly Mazda3 maybe. The front end and that c-pillar are major fails.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's "Progressive Luxury?"

      You drive a car for 4 years while someone else pays for it? Sorry couldn't help myself.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I understand being daring to counter the boring Lexus image, it's just what Lexus thinks is daring, I think is ugly. Oh well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You must have some large nostrils. ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I lol'd a little.
      • 4 Years Ago
      progressive luxury.. basically they want to portray the same image as Audi.. the new, contemporary luxury, not the old...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like that blue Mazda 3 in the picture. Hey wait, wasn't this a lexus article???
      • 4 Years Ago
      The word "progressive" may be the most over used and misused word or our time.
      Politically, its meaning is the opposite of what might be seen in a dictionary.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Progressive luxury" for the "Gerry" crowd.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thought they were Subbies or EVO's fro seven to ten years ago. I guessed from a re-reading that Lexus has absolutely no idea or direction for going anywhere forward.
    • Load More Comments