It’s no secret that crossovers/ SUVs continue to win over buyers. For decades the midsize sedan was an automaker’s bread and butter, but today crossovers have easily moved past the traditional sedan. Look at Honda for example where the Honda CR-V now outsells the long standing Accord. Lexus is apparently worried about the sedan’s future, which it feels could become extinct if something doesn’t change.
Sedans are no longer the default choice, so if automakers want to keep them relevant they need to move beyond the traditional three box design. According to Toyota Motor Corporation’s global branding chief Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus is worried about the future of the sedan segment. At Lexus sedans only accounted for 29 percent of all sales in teh first quarter of this year and that number continues to decline. Fukuichi feels that if sedans are to survive they need to have improved driving dynamics with less traditional styling.
“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,” Fukuichi told Automotive News at the Shanghai Motor Show last month.
Lexus has already started to try to save the sedan with the all-new Lexus LS, which has a more sculpted body with a fastback profile. Although Lexus may be worried about the fate of its sedan lineup, it’s already being reported that the next-generation GS sedan is already off the table and instead will be replaced by the new ES.
While it remains to be seen if Lexus can help revive the sedan lineup, Lexus may also look at a wagon to help grow its sales. “Personally, I would like to have a Lexus wagon if we had enough resources,” Fukuichi stated. “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.”
Source: Automotive News