Ford made waves earlier this year when it announced plans to eliminate a number of sedans but it’s far from the only automaker considering limiting their passenger car lineup in the face of increasing demand for crossovers.
While Lexus isn’t eliminating sedans altogether, it appears that it could phase out the IS and GS. Rumors about the GS’ demise are nothing new and Lexus’ North American group vice president and general manager, David Christ, declined to confirm reports that the model is going away. However, he did tell Automotive News the company is taking a “strategic look” at both the IS and GS.
The IS is now in its third-generation and the latest version of the sedan was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2012. The model is currently Lexus’ most affordable sedan, in the United States, as pricing starts at $38,210. Unfortunately, its appeal is limited as the more practical NX crossover starts at $36,185 and the larger ES sedan is just $740 more expensive.
The high pricing and unpopular body style are working against the IS as Carsalesbase data shows the company only managed to sell 26,482 units in the United States last year. This is a drastic decline from the 51,358 models that were sold back in 2014.
The Lexus GS is in a similar situation even though its $46,310 base price significantly undercuts key rivals such as the Audi A6 ($49,700), BMW 5-Series ($52,650) and Mercedes E-Class ($52,950). According to Carsalesbase, the company only sold 7,773 GS models in America last year and this is a significant decline from the 23,117 units sold just two years earlier.
GS sales could decline even further as the 2019 ES is larger, comes with more standard horsepower and should be significantly more affordable. Rumors have also suggested the ES could eventually be offered with all-wheel drive and this would eliminate one of the GS’ main advantages.
It remains unclear whether or not the models will be dropped but Christ said “We’re certainly evaluating both vehicles.”