Lexus to Cancel the GX in 2016, Replace with Seven-Seat Crossover?

Lexus GX 460

According to Mark Rechtin of Automotive News, Lexus will cancel the GX in 2016 and replace it with a seven-seat crossover called the TX:

GX: The 2014 midcycle freshening for the truck-based SUV includes a trapezoidal fascia and more telematics, although there will be such cost-cutting measures as manual third-row seats. The GX will be removed from the lineup in the fall of 2016 to make room for the car-based TX.

TX: Talk about missed opportunities. It has been 10 years since Lexus unveiled the HPX seven-seat car-based crossover concept at the New York auto show — and we’ll wait at least three more years to see a production version on public roads when it arrives in late 2016 or early 2017. Toyota has applied for a trademark for the TX nameplate. Toyota is secretive about whether the TX would use the RX-Avalon front-wheel-drive architecture for packaging benefits or use the IS/GS rear-wheel-drive architecture for a sportier feel.

This move was hinted at earlier this year in a Ward’s Auto interview with Lexus USA vice-president of marketing Brian Smith:

Smith says one of the brand’s two large body-on-frame SUVs, the GX and LX, could be converted to unibody platforms as the auto maker works to meet looming government-imposed fuel-economy regulations.

“In the future, if we could do a 3-row unibody (utility vehicle), I think that’s what consumers would want to see,” he says.

Swapping out the GX for a car-based crossover is a sensible move — a larger RX-style vehicle would have a larger potential market, and there’s no need for two body-on-frame SUVs in the Lexus lineup any more.

What do you think — should Lexus be canceling the GX and replacing it with a crossover?

[Source: Automotive News]