Lexus is considering entering the supermini sector, as analysis has showed the segment is gaining its own substantial premium niche.
A Lexus marketing specialist told Autocar that the premium supermini market could grow to a point that Lexus cannot afford to ignore it.
“This segment will grow,” he said, “as more premium marques begin to build cars in this size. We already have the Mini and the Alfa Romeo Mito, and the Audi A1 is just around the corner.
“Indeed, the Mito has been a big success outside Italy, especially in the challenging German market. The Mini is under considerable pressure now.”
Car makers are also trying to expand the premium niche by building more variants, as evinced by the forthcoming Mini Crossman SUV and Mini Coupe.
Asked whether Lexus would go into the smallest premium sector, the Lexus source said: “Well, never say never. It’s probably the third or fourth most important segment. In fact, the ‘B’ premium sector is already bigger than the large SUV segment. But it is very hard to make money in it.”