Every automaker has a few regrets, but not many are willing to admit to them.
Lexus CEO Jim Lentz said he wishes his company invested in a large three-row crossover before the sporty RC coupe during an interview with Automotive News. Lentz believes a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz GL and Audi Q7 would have been the wiser choice, rather than listening to dealer demands for a sports car. Currently, Lexus offers the GX and LX models for three-row shoppers, but those vehicles are truck-based SUVs while its top-selling RX crossover only seats five.
“In hindsight, if I was making this decision 10 years ago, seeing what I see today, the three-row [crossover] probably would have been the better play to come out first,” said Lentz. “Strategically that’s a more important vehicle to have than necessarily a lower volume, higher priced image product.”
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The company wouldn’t confirm whether a three-row crossover is under development, but dealers are now demanding such a model. Regardless, Lexus doesn’t see the RC as a mistake and through April of 2015, it has sold 4,258 units – outpacing the flagship LS sedan. The company has seen its U.S. sales up nearly 17 percent compared to last year, with its new compact NX selling 12,532 units through April. Lexus currently is about 4,300 vehicles behind top-luxury brand Mercedes-Benz and 2,400 vehicles behind second-place BMW.
Lentz reiterated that Lexus has no plans of creating a vehicle that’s cheaper than $30,000, at least not for the U.S. market: “Luxury cars cost a certain dollar amount for a reason. I don’t want to cheapen my cars just to offer a lease that’s $20 a month less.”
[Source: Automotive News]
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