For the first time ever, SUVs represented more than 50 percent of all cars sold in Europe during the first half of 2023, according to market researcher Dataforce. Customers continue to be enamored with sport utility vehicles of all shapes and sizes to the detriment of once-traditional body styles. The good ol’ sedan would have to be one of them, but Lexus thinks it’s still relevant in some markets despite the obsession many people have with SUVs.
Speaking with Australian magazine Drive, Lexus’ global brand chief Takashi Watanabe admitted that demand for sedans is dwindling. However, he believes there are still enough people who buy them to warrant the development of new three-box cars: “We continue to see a market (for sedans)… and continue to place importance and focus on sedans.”
Sedans remain particularly popular in China where the ES accounts for half of Lexus’ total deliveries. However, the company’s top brass pointed out that preferences in the world’s most populous country (or is that India?) change rapidly, and what’s popular today might fall out of favor in a few short years. With that in mind, the boss of Toyota’s luxury division says global product planning could be complemented by China-focused cars and even models developed specifically for that market.
When Lexus teased a bunch of models at the end of 2021, this Electrified Sedan was one of them, presumably previewing a purely electric IS-like model. There was also a Toyota Camry-sized car with combustion engines, along with a pair of wagons and even a four-seat convertible. It goes to show the future lineup won’t be dominated by SUVs, assuming all those concepts will make it to production one day.
Lexus has also said that a fully electric pickup truck is not completely out of the question since it could happen if there’s enough demand. Its portfolio will be topped by a spiritual successor to the LFA as an electric supercar with a manual gearbox, steer-by-wire, brake-by-wire, and all-wheel drive.