At least its dealerships want to.
Lexus literally began today's biggest automotive trends way back in 1998 when it launched its first-generation RX. The Lexus RX, based on a slightly Toyota modified Toyota Camry platform, was something completely different from nearly anything else at the time. Although it looked like an SUV, it rode on a traditional car architecture with standard front-wheel-drive. The crossover was born and all other automakers followed suit. Lexus sedan and coupe sales remain relatively stable, but its crossover lineup is what brings in the big bucks.
However, its two-vehicle SUV lineup could use some work. Currently, the luxury automaker sells two body-on-frame SUVs, the Lexus GX and Lexus LX. Although both are excellent at what they do, they're aging rapidly and Lexus dealerships are keenly aware of this.
Speaking to Automotive News, Paul LaRochelle, the chairman of the Lexus National Dealer Advisory Council, admitted that future profitability is one of the main concerns dealers have, as the ratio of new and pre-owned vehicle sales is about 1:1. To help counteract this, dealers want new product, specifically new and more competitive SUVs. Those dealers were forced to watch from the sidelines the arrival of the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. They simply had nothing truly competitive to sell customers. Sure, the LX is a fine vehicle, but it doesn't offer anywhere near the list of advanced options new Escalade owners can select from.
"But as we look into the world we're now selling into, which is certainly an SUV-driven world and buyer, we've got a great product lineup," LaRochelle said. "Now it's just a matter of changing, redesigning, coming out with different variants of those luxury utility vehicles and SUVs that we currently sell, and perhaps even a few new ones along the way."
Fortunately, LaRochelle claims Toyota president, Akio Toyoda, said two to three vehicle redesigns are planned by 2025. More new vehicles will also be added to the lineup every year as well. Are a new Lexus GX or LX included? Remember, word has it Toyota is planning to launch the next-generation Tundra full-size pickup truck in either 2021 or 2022. Its platform could very well serve as the basis for a new Lexus luxury SUV as well, though this is purely speculative at this time.
For now, Lexus dealerships will have to continue selling a pair of outdated though still appealing SUVs while the competition has something totally new and exciting to offer.