Lexus Thinking About Developing An Smaller SUV Than The NX
|   Friday, August 01, 2014
The Lexus range could be enriched with an SUV smaller than the future NX. The Japanese are analyzing the possibility of selling a B segment SUV, the most popular class on the market in Europe.

Lexus may introduce a small SUV range, say the British from Autocar, citing the vice president of the European brand. According to Alain Uyttenhoven, the Lexus official, quoted in the article, it would not be impossible to launch a smaller Lexus model that is a crossover, or an entry-level.
This means that the supposed model will be cheaper than the CT200h the compact hybrid of the Japanese brand that is not as popular as its German equivalents in the premium manufacturer ranges, precisely because it doesn't have any other engines on offer.

Uyttenhoven said trends in European, Chinese and Japanese markets are likely to converge, thus leading to the development of smaller models and giving Lexus the opportunity to widen its product range. "The premium market starts with a car as small as the Audi A1," he said.

Regarding the larger cars, Uyttenhoven thinks it unlikely that the large LS model will ever be powered by a four-cylinder engine. Instead, he says that by 2020, an LS performance version might be equipped with a fuel cell drivetrain.

"As soon as fuel cells can be made for performance driving, you'll see fuel cells in high-end cars."
Concerning the NX and speculation revolving around it, he said at the European launch that "The production LF-LC will not be huge volume [car] for Lexus, but it will bring huge emotion. Every year there will be a new model for Lexus, either a volume car like the NX or a model to boost brand image [like the LF-LC]."



Uyttenhoven noted that about 60 percent of sales by premium brands in Europe take place below the 40,000 euro (57,500 dollars) threshold. At present, just the CT, priced at 27,600 euro (39,700 dollars), and IS, costing 34,200 euro (49,200 dollars), are placed under that price threshold.

A premium B segment SUV could help Lexus to increase sales in the major global markets where this type of car, regardless if it's premium or volume, is currently being demanded. Before subcompacts, the most searched category was the C segment hatchback that was quickly deposed by the subcompact in different bodywork styles.

It remains to be seen how long it will take the Japanese to take a decision in this direction, and to launch a model in a timely manner that can benefit from the popularity influx this class of model has.

Lexus is striving to launch new models in its range to diversify its markets, with the Japanese brand selling more than half of production on the US market. Lexus current wishes are completely different from the intentions it had back in 1989, when the first model of the brand was introduced, offered only in the United States at that time.

As explained by industry analysts, the Japanese brand has to change range because the US market is no longer the first global market in terms of cars, and dependence on a market so large is dangerous for any manufacturer.
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