Lexus wants to go upmarket. “That’s cute” would be a quick way to dismiss them. As luck would have it, it does appear like they’re taking steps to make their claim a reality.
Jeff Bracken, Lexus’s US group vice president and general manager, is aware that Lexus lost their title as America’s biggest luxury brand back in 2011. The Germans are fighting fiercely and it doesn’t seem like it’s a bragging right Lexus will be winning back anytime soon.
So what are they to do? For one, while their German rivals are starting to continue down market with variations of entry-level cars and quirky little people movers, Lexus is electing to not follow the downmarket trend by offering anything “lower” than their $32,500 CT 200h hybrid hatchback.
Bracken hints in an Autoline After Hours interview that they’ll be going upmarket with higher-performance models and leaving the sales captures to Toyota and Scion.
Potentially on the horizon? Rumors of an LFA successor and a production model based on the 2012 LF-LC concept (which should slot nicely as a legitimate replacement for the slow moving SC convertible).
“We need to begin bringing to market luxury performance… higher performance vehicles. IS-F certainly was the beginning of that, maybe on the lower end,” says Bracken in the Autoline interview.