Lexus has been a brand that has risen from its humble origins in the late 1980s into a luxury juggernaut that has always designed vehicles that have a high emphasis on being trendy, and very design centric offerings. But while the current lineup is perhaps the strongest and most diverse that the company has had in recent memory, Lexus dealers in the U.S. are clamoring for a larger SUV model to formally bring the fight to both the Cadillac Escalade, as well as other big three row luxury SUV offerings.
There is certainly room in the lineup, with Lexus having a noticeable void when it comes to a big three row luxury SUV. The brand has had a recurring history of not offering an SUV like this for buyers, but with the SUV segment booming, a bigger offering would allow Lexus to try and compete with these established benchmarks, while also giving Lexus dealers a chance to try and nab customers in a part of the segment where size and equally big checkbooks are established pillars of the buying experience. When asked by Automotive News, Paul LaRochelle the chairman of the Lexus National Dealer Advisory Council revealed that long term profitability is a key concern for dealers in the United States where the margin between new and used vehicle is almost even. These same dealers also want significant changes in the SUV lineup, but LaRochelle summed things up with this quote.
“But as we look into the world we’re now selling into, which is certainly an SUV-driven world and buyer, we’ve got a great product lineup. Now it’s just a matter of changing, redesigning, coming out with different variants of those luxury utility vehicles and SUVs that we currently sell, and perhaps even a few new ones along the way.”
Perhaps no model is a more prominent symbol of the dealer’s demands for change then the LX and GX models. These aging models are based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, and while they are still very rugged, capable, and luxurious thes emodels are slowly falling behind rivals that have seen their fair share of revisions and updates. LaRochelle claims that Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda revealed that the firm will commit to resolving this in the 2025 plan stating that the next five years would see up to three key redesigns, as well as a few new offerings being introduced in between those each year. However, Toyota has not formally confirmed LaRochelle’s claims, but the fact that dealers are at least bringing this issue to the fore-front could inspire Lexus to try and find a way to address this pent up demand.