Coming off the heals of rumors that the next-generation Lexus GS may be dead, Toyota executives are publicly expressing worry that the sedan in general may ultimately die. In a report from Automotive News Toyota’s global branding chief Tokuo Fukuichi outlines Lexus’ thought process on the future of the sedan.
The thesis of their thought process is that the current generation of crossovers and SUVs drive more like cars than ever before. As such, the stakes are raised for sedans to drive even better and offer a set of dynamics that cannot be matched by crossovers of SUVs. Fukuichi also outlines a trend of premium customers becoming more casual, forcing luxury brands to become more casual as well.
In an effort to combat these trends, Lexus is evolving its sedan strategy as what sounds like a last-ditch effort to save the segment. As noted with the 2018 LS sedan, the brand is evolving its sedan design to feature more of a fastback design and possibly even bring back wagons. The design changes are pairing with enhanced driving dynamics to court buyers back from crossovers.
Given the ever increasing popularity of crossovers and SUVs, it seems a bit far-fetched to think that Lexus can buck this trend. Nonetheless, the brand is going to apparently make an effort to do just that.
Fukuichi ended the conversation by asserting that the traditional square, three-box sedan will be dead in the coming years. The question will be what–if anything–takes its place outside of crossovers and SUVs.