Lexus could expand its line-up and make smaller cars in the future because of market changes sparked by the growing popularity of SUVs.
Speaking at the Tokyo motor show, the firm’s executive vice-president, Koji Saro, said there was evidence that well-executed smaller cars could be sold for higher prices, because of shifts in how customers perceive value. In particular, SUVs are more profitable than same-sized hatchbacks because they are perceived to be bigger due to their raised ride height.
“Smaller doesn’t always mean cheaper now, so trends are changing,” said Sato. “I can’t say clearly that it is something we will do, but we are looking at all vehicle opportunities.”
Such an SUV would sit below the recently launched Lexus UX crossover, with a likely starting price well below £30,000. However, Sato hinted that part of the appeal of creating smaller cars was that buyers are increasingly willing to raise the transaction price by buying options. “What customers want is individuality,” he said.
Sato also vowed that Lexus would keep making distinctive cars, including convertibles and F-branded models powered by high-performance, non-electrified engines. “We must cater for people who enjoy their driving,” he said.