Lexus Says Sedans Won’t Survive Unless They Evolve

The fate of the Lexus GS appears to be sealed following an admission from the Japanese carmaker that its sedans won’t survive unless they are overhauled.

Speaking to Automotive News about the future of Lexus sedans, Toyota global branding chief Tokuo Fukuichi said that huge demand for SUVs and crossovers means sedans need to become more dynamic and less formal.

“Unless we can really offer a sedan experience you cannot have with an SUV or crossover, I think the sedan may not be able to survive if it does not evolve.”

“At a certain point of time, the traditional, square, three-box sedan will go away,” Fukuichi said.

According to the executive, SUV and crossover models have dramatically improved in recent years and are now as comfortable as sedans and handle just as well. Fukuichi cites the steering response of sedans as one of the key areas that needs to be improved.

“At the initial touch, it needs to respond sharply. The LC is quite close,” he said.

Beyond the future of the Lexus sedan, Fukuichi also said he’d be interested in creating a station wagon for Toyota’s luxury division.

“Personally, I would like to have a Lexus wagon if we had enough resources. Maybe not as tall as an SUV but not as short as a wagon. There could be some optimized packaging. If we’re going to do it, it can’t be just an ordinary station wagon.”

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  • Shobin Drogan

    Crossovers must die. Bring back the wagons.

    • Random stranger

      Honestly I can’t figure out why crossovers are very popular nowadays…

      • KSegg

        Soccer Mom’s who want to feel “young again”. So instead of buying a Porsche 911, they get a BMW X6M.

        • Christian

          or more realistic, they just get something like a C-HR or Qashqai.

          • KSegg

            C-HR…….Qashqai. I just vomited in my mouth a little.

          • Christian

            When you be a sick kid and sit in the backseat of the C-HR!

          • Tumbi Mtika

            The Cashcow is nice.

      • SgtBeavis

        1. High driving position
        2. Perceived safety
        3. Perceived promotion of an active lifestyle
        4. Larger interior volume without being a minivan or station wagon
        5. etc., etc., etc…

        It’s all marketing and perception. I’ve gotta hand it to the marketing guys at all of the OEMs, they really nailed it with crossovers. Even the Subaru Outback (a true station wagon) is very successfully marketed as a crossover.

        • KidRed

          #4 is perceived larger interior volume. Compare and midsize SUV to a midsize sedan and it’s just not as roomy inside an SUV. Especially smaller SUV/CUV models.

  • Matthijs

    Although SUV’s sell very well, BMW, Mercedes and Audi don’t have any problems selling their sedans..

    • cooper

      BMW and MB less sedans because they make great sedans. Just look at Lexus sedans . Some I would almost feel embarrassed driving.

  • TheBelltower

    “… sedans need to become more dynamic and less formal.”

    Is that another way of saying “sportier and less ugly?” Then just say that. I think most of us would appreciate it if Lexus sedans looked better. Making them sportier is trickier, since building a car that performs more precisely often doesn’t help with the wear&tear on the car. And ToyoLexus is only concerned about perceived quality.

  • Sam

    German’s sedans are doing well. Lexus’s sedan is not selling sendans because of the design. Especially GS. It is a mismatch of very controversial untraditional front mask plus very traditional body. People want premium design when they purchase “premium” class cars. Toyota’s just don’t have people on the top level who understand it, and it is a very critical.

  • KSegg

    Sedans will survive just fine. It’s just Lexus continues to make boring as hell sedans. BMW, MB, Audi, and Porsche have zero problems selling their sedans.

    • Althea Later

      They all have 5 door versions, which sell well

  • Merc1

    No, it should read: “Lexus’ sedans won’t survive unless they become relevant”.

    Don’t cry about the sedan dying because you can’t make them as good as the competition.

    M

  • Sébastien

    What an easy statement to make, it’s true for anything.
    “X Won’t Survive Unless They Evolve”

  • Gerald Michael

    Sedans are evolving. Into crossovers. But seriously folks, perhaps if Lexus’s sedans weren’t so damn ugly they’d sell better.

  • Harry_Wild

    Blame Lexus Predator front grill! Kill sales for the sedan!

  • cooper

    Lexus could also work on a less hideous looking sedan.

  • Althea Later

    “Personally, I would like to have a Lexus wagon if we had enough resources. Maybe not as tall as an SUV but not as short as a wagon. There could be some optimized packaging. If we’re going to do it, it can’t be just an ordinary station wagon.”
    WT heck is this guy talking about???… “enough resources”??? They are TOYOTA. Biggest car company in the world. They already make many wagon-like vehicles for all over the world.
    “Not as short as a wagon” huh??? What???

    • binh

      Yes, GS couple to vs. BMW 6 series, Mer AMG GT4, Audi Q7

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Lexus Says THEIR Sedans Won’t Survive Unless They Evolve*

    Trying to be slick aren’t we, Lexus?

  • LeStori

    If they continue to make boring looking sedans like the one shown in this article I can see why they would have a problem.
    Oh what a boring look…

  • Ray

    Large hatchback sedans like the A7 and the upcoming Regal.

  • notthistimecobber

    Lexus won’t survive unless they reinvent themselves – currently a sinking ship but it’s not to late Toyota! Perhaps if you made stylish products that people wanted then they would sell – just look at Merc sedan sales.

    • Kash

      Lexus outsells Audi in the US and is right behind BMW and Mercedes, in fact Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus are the 3 best selling luxury brands in the US (in that order this year) and have been for a few years now. I wouldn’t really call that a sinking ship.

  • Christian Wimmer

    [Quote] “Personally, I would like to have a Lexus wagon if we had enough resources…” [/Quote]

    Um, this is TOYOTA. They have the resources.

  • An Existing Person

    As much as I prefer sedans over crossovers and SUV’s, I must admit that recent SUV’s and crossovers have managed to combine the best of both worlds, making it an even more complex decision for consumers when buying a new car.

  • Kash

    He wants a wagon that is taller than a wagon but not as tall as a crossover. That sounds like the Venza. If they’re gonna build a wagon it needs to be an actual wagon, now if they wanna do a soft roader version that’s another story, but you still need to start with a decent wagon for a base.

  • Ary Wisesa

    I’m waiting a sexy wagon from Lexus.

  • SteersUright

    Hey Carscoops! Having to reload your page 3 to 4 times every time just to get the Disqus comments to pop up is getting really, really annoying!!

  • SteersUright

    Does Lexus really have so little of a clue?? A sedan is a 4-door sports car. Its that simple. Look at the Panamera, the S7, the M5, the S6, E63, etc., make one of those, ok? Done. And no, the GSF or GS350 do not qualify. Those are what us customers call “half-ass efforts”. If customers want soft and luxurious, they go for crossovers, SUV’s, SAV’s, etc. Sedans sit lower and that is their only real advantage. So capitalize on it and make seriously good sport sedans or just get out of the sedan market and make really good SUV’s and crossovers for all.

  • KidRed

    Maybe he meant Lexus sedans? Since the current Lexus sedans are so ugly, their sales will continue to tank unless their design evolves to be less hideous.

  • Auto

    Want to know how to sell your sedans, Lexus? MAKE THEM LESS UGLY!

  • Cobrajet

    nothing will survive if it doesn’t evolve.

  • Finkployd

    OK the ES is fugly inside and out but the GS; come on it’s super sexy

  • Yuki Mikazuki

    The only problem Lexus has is the fact that’s it just isn’t a German make, and that’s exactly why fanboys of boring and overrated German makes constantly turn Lex down.

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