TheDetroitBureau recently sat down with Lexus’s general manager, Mark Templin, for a little interview. And in that interview, TDB was able to obtain some information regarding Lexus’s lineup in the near future.
As Lexus’s rivals from Germany expand their lineups, offering a vast slew of models, you’d think that Lexus would be following suit. But Mark Templin reportedly said that he was “not a big fan” of “having 100 different models in your line-up.”
But interestingly enough, Templin also did share that Lexus is carefully monitoring market demand. That said, there’s a most likely chance that Lexus could see the addition of a compact crossover to its lineup. It would be used to compete against the Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW X3, and Audi Q5. Though Templin apparently hinted at it and said that Lexus is in no rush because their RX crossover is still the best-selling CUV for its ability to appeal to a very broad range of crossover buyers.
Another addition Lexus may be considering is a successor to the LF-A supercar, which Templin commented that all LF-As were sold with no additional production planned.
“The LFC (concept) we showed in Detroit this year was a smash hit,” Templin told TBD, “and everyone is asking us to build that car without change.” He also said that the LF-C could take as much as four years to complete its engineering.
Another issue Templin said that Toyota Motor Company wanted to curtail was research and development. This comes after recent scrutiny of Toyota’s “over-reliance on computer simulations and a lack of slower real-world testing,” which has led to a widely-perceived decline in quality and safety of Toyota vehicles. That said, he said the only way to fix this is to slow down production and product development. Templin concluded the answer by saying that Toyota “has started to build cars more slowly again.”
In lieu of the ever increasing demand for hybrids, Templin also said that the hybrid market could see more models from Lexus. Though not all future hybrid models will be available in North American markets.
Lexus also does not seek to produce luxury compact and city cars like the German brands are. As Templin put it, Lexus doesn’t have to and he believes that brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are only producing them to meet the US’s strict fuel economy regulations.
- By: Chris Chin