Lexus regrets not doing 3-row CUV before RC coupe [UPDATE]
Automakers try to give its dealers (and by extension, their customers) the vehicles they're asking for. In Lexus' case, that's come down to a sport coupe and a three-row crossover. The Japanese luxury automaker ended up prioritizing the former with the launch of the RC coupe, but in retrospect, it feels it should have gone with the seven-seater instead.
This according to Toyota's North American chief Jim Lentz in speaking to Automotive News at its provisional headquarters in Plano, TX. "In hindsight, if I was making this decision 10 years ago, seeing what I see today, the three-row [crossover] probably would have been the better play to come out first," Lentz to AN. "Strategically that's a more important vehicle to have than necessarily a lower volume, higher priced image product."
Crossovers and SUVs represent big business for Lexus, whose five-seat RX (pictured above) is its biggest seller. The more compact NX is off to a solid start as well, but the brand's only three-row offerings are truck-based sport-utes like the GX and LX. Even without the three-row crossover, however, Lexus has been performing admirably. Rising sales have it trailing only BMW and Mercedes in the US market for luxury automobiles.
Adding a three-row crossover to target the likes of the Audi Q7 and Mercedes GL will evidently be the next top priority for Lexus, but it's not the only plan the luxury brand has for the near future. Lentz indicated that the company plans to rely on its lineup of near-luxury and entry-level luxury sedans and crossovers moving forward, but isn't interested in going after the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3. "Luxury cars cost a certain dollar amount for a reason," said Lentz. "I don't want to cheapen my cars just to offer a lease that's $20 a month less."
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