Lexus IS And GS Could Be On The Chopping Block

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.”

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  • Merc1

    Sad thing, sad day. The IS and the GS are the only Lexus sedans that really matter to anyone that actually likes to drive. I would NEVER buy a blue hair, FWD ES. And adding AWD to the ES is not the same thing either. IS and GS can be had in RWD which is best for enthusiasts.

    M

    • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

      Don’t worry
      All will be dependable on what Toyota will do with the Mark-X

  • Yobobjm

    I know it’s too late, but I think it would’ve made sense to replace all 3 models (is,es,gs) with one RWD sporty sedan that would be about the size of the new ES. That way almost everyone is happy.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Damnit, it would’ve been cool to see one of these with the LS’s new twin turbo V6.

  • ErnieB

    Lexus designers should be on the chopping block.. they’ve designed some of the ugliest luxury vehicles ever!

    • PK

      agree.

  • Denzel

    They should keep the IS and drop the price by a few thousand while keeping the same quality

    • Six_Tymes

      That is a great idea.

    • Victor Ferreira

      I mean, the reason the IS is slow selling is that it now starts at a higher price point than a C300 or a 3 series. Plus, in this class, it’s all about lease deals. Toyota could sell more, if they really wanted to. I hope it doesn’t get chopped, even if the design is getting a little tired, I like the car and would consider purchasing one for the reliability alone.

      • SteersUright

        Its also slow selling because the interior is no longer up to par, the drivetrain is dated as well, and people are tired of looking at the same design for nearly a decade.

        • HardWir3d

          The lease deals are pretty aggressive… u can get a very nice base IS for like $279. I think it’s just an older design that needs a refresh. No biggy. Also, no apple carplay or any of the new tech that other cars in its class now offer.

  • ProtectOurHeritage

    The cars may be well built, but they are so damn ugly! Maybe enhance the design and then people would start buying enough to continue selling them?

  • The IS really needs redemption! It would be sad to see it go. The styling was is just so terrible, to think it’s the same people that made the LC..

    • SteersUright

      I prefer the GS. Its a better driving car with more room, luxury and far better interior. That said, its been underpowered since its inception and Lexus now finally has great drivetrains to give it and they decide to kill it…interesting business strategy.

  • PhilMcGraw

    I personally wish they would take the GS and make it into a hatchback/wagon combo (like the new Regal). I think wagons are slowly coming back into the fray and I think it’d allow the GS to continue on without stepping on the ES and vice versa.

  • Jason Panamera

    Chop IS as it’s sales will be taken over also by UX model. Give ES 4WD and make GS as 4 door coupe, more expensive than current GS but luxurious and sport as hell and still cheaper than A7 or CLS. I know that Toyota can do this, but question is if they want to ?

    • AstonMartin

      I believe you’ve previewed Lexus pending auto plans. The previous gen GS sedan still looks great with its coupe-like lines, however, its current shape failed to catch on. Refreshed SUV’s and the top tier luxury LF-1 crossover will complete the lineup, most eventually will be offered with either PHEV or EV power. Hopefully they’ll introduce more graceful styling to refine the present polarizing designs that consumers either embrace or flee.

      • Jason Panamera

        GS has more aggressive styling appropriate for sport sedan than coupe-like lines which you can see in sleek CLS or A7. I love how current GS looks but I have to also admit that it needs something more in it’s appearance. To keep GS alive with new ES in their lineup, it should become a ,,halo effect” car what CLS does for Mercedes.

  • Jay

    I liked the Lexus Designs enouh but they lost me after generations with the current IS and GS designs. I have no problem with the spindle or the polarizing style, but it was not cohesive, lines would just go all over the place. The back rocker panel and kink of the new IS really bothers the crap out of me, and their spoilers are ugly. Also on the IS and RC interioirs the cheap empty plastic and that weird touch bar for HVAC was a bad idea. Their 1996 Nav graphics didn’t help either.

    Sad as the IS was such a great 2nd, 3rd option to the germans but I abandoned them too after current version came out. Lexus service is still the best i have ever had but the cars went south in some ways. I guess they will only have expensive barges, coupes and CUVs now.

  • Harry Nimmergut

    The Japanese cut the model tally as the Germans keep adding to them. Seems almost daily. And sales numbers of most, if not, all, of these model additions are not close to the IS and GS figures. Reckoning day coming for the Germans?

  • bd0007

    Part of the reason why both the IS and GS may be on the chopping block is that neither is a big seller in their domestic market (or for that matter, the LS).

    The US is by far their largest market and even here, the GS barely sells and the reason for that has been Toyota/Lexus falling behind in powertrains compared to the competition (and not just German).

    The Toyota Crown series (which shares a platform and mechanicals with the GS), however, does a decent sales volume in Japan.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    Goddammit…. let’s hope not…

    …I’m hoping and praying that Lexus won’t kill off these pure gems…. 🙁

  • :/ Yurr

    They better not discontinue the Lexus GS. Cause that new one is a dream 😄.

  • eye.surgeon

    Newsflash, ugly doesn’t sell. Both are solid vehicles ruined by that terrible Lexus front end design..

  • dumblikeyou2

    Wait, I thought the IS was a market leader in the states. Or at least for Lexus. What happened? Was it the mid-cycle update that made a decently mature looking sedan now look juvenile and overtly “SPORTIER” that killed the magic?

  • eb110americana

    It seemed like Toyota/Lexus were on a good course now that Akio Toyoda is running things. He’s supposed to be a car guy. The FR-S/GT-86 was such a promising start. Now the GS is dead, the IS too maybe. No IS-F this gen and from the looks of things, no V8 cars either. To make matters worse, the new LS is hideous along with the RX, and the Supra is even worse.

    Just bring back the IS as their one sport sedan. Keep the 3.5L V6 as the standard engine and lower the price so it undercuts some of the competition in order to bring in young buyers. It would be cool if the 5.0L NA V8 was offered on an IS-F, but it’s probably more realistic to offer it with the 416 hp/442 torque turbo 3.5L V6 from the LS–maybe tuned for closer to 400 torque and 450 hp if possible. And for the love of God, for once, don’t let the disgruntled Lexus designers who were just laid off get their revenge by designing the headlights! The interior could be a bit more LC-on-a-budget to woo buyers tired of a sea of black or gray in German sedans.

  • klowik

    The IS model should stay even the sale is dwindling since it’s a first step and induction model of what luxury brand should be. GS can be cut since ES is duplicating its role. I think a rethink of design about what IS should look like in the next generation.

  • Nordschleife

    I would like the GS to turn into a 4-Door Coupè but we all know that while it was a good ideal to offer two vehicle at the same price it’s just becoming an SUV world. I’d be sad to see either one go but I think the GS has a better chance to be morphed into something that may prove popular.

    • BlackPegasus

      Agreed. I was hoping Lexus would finally enter the 4dr coupe segment with a sexy all new GS 4dr coupe. I just don’t see the all new LS500 attracting new foot traffic to showroom floors.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    100%Agree

  • Finkployd

    Sad truth … same engines over and over, no weight reduction, tired infotainment system … I’m a Lexus fan but they need to do something

  • Vassilis

    I hope they don’t kill the IS. I really like it.

  • SteersUright

    Hey Lexus, here’s a brilliant business strategy, be the only Luxury brand that makes most of your cars not exciting nor great to drive. You will join other legendary modern day luxury brand success stories such as Cadillac, Acura, and Lincoln!

  • The GS I’d understand but not the IS too.

    From the reviews I’ve seen the new ES is a stunning car, one can easily have as much fun driving it as being driven in it. While I love the the GS it’s business case has always been iffy for me, I already have V8 Datsun SUV when I feel like I’m 19 so a soothing ES is the complimentary car rather than another potential teen behaviour inspiring sports car.

  • Trocadero

    I bought an IS 300H 3 years ago intending to keep it 10 years, that doesn’t make me Lexus’s best repeat customer but it felt it would go on forever when I got it. I might keep it longer, time will tell.

  • Ary Wisesa

    The main problem with the IS is its hard-to-accept unattractive face. The previous IS was even more attractive than current generation. Mercedes C Class is already the best looking car in the segment, it’s hard to beat it with the weird looking IS.

    As for the GS, the latest facelift looks horrible. Lexus can pull off one of the most gorgeous car on the planet in the form of LC, why dont they just copy its success recipe from it?

    Lexus should never give up on the IS and the GS. Actually both are very well built cars, so quality is never the issue. The problem mainly lies on their unusual appearance which is hard to accept by the market. If both cars dont meet the sales target, it’s time to redesign and reengineer them to be prettier and more sophisticated, not just abandon them altogether.

    Where is your fighting spirit Lexus? Will you always axe your cars if they dont sell well, instead of redesign and make them more attractive? If you keep this mentality, soon you’ll be gone. My prediction: the UX could suffer the same fate in the future, with exactly the same problem: unattractive styling.

  • Justin Spencer

    There’s a lot of overlap with these sedans for one thing. The IS is too expensive and the styling is waaaaaay overdone! They need to chop that price down and even downsize it a bit. The GS looks great however it’s very much a “me too” looking BMW. Lexus needs to look back at the best years of these models and get back to that formula.

  • Bash

    WTF.

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