No New Small Cars Planned for Lexus

Lexus IS

In an interview with Wards Auto, Lexus USA VP of Marketing Brian Smith explains Lexus has no immediate plans to release another subcompact car beyond the CT:

There currently are no plans for an entry-level non-hybrid car to slot in under the all-new ’14 IS sport coupe, although Smith says that remains a possibility if the market demands it. Lexus retails the compact hybrid hatchback CT 200h in the U.S.

Luxury competitors have been forced to offer entry-level vehicles to meet fuel-economy mandates, but Smith says Lexus, due to its grouping with Toyota and Scion, does not need such fuel-sippers.

However, he says Lexus will continue to monitor the trend toward small, entry-level luxury vehicles. And if there’s sufficient demand, “Lexus might go there someday.”

The introduction of a proper coupe and a compact crossover are the two largest opportunities for the Lexus lineup right now, but the C-Segment is turning into a key battlefield for luxury brands (see the new 1-series, B-Class & A3) and may be one of the best ways for Lexus to grow its brand worldwide. Definitely an interesting market to watch.

(I’m still of the mind that Lexus should build a sports car based off the GT-86/FRS platform, but would that even be classified as an entry-level model?)

[Source: Wards Auto]