Hans Greimel from Automotive News reports on an unusual rumor — Lexus dealers in Asia want Lexus to build a one-box van:
The reasoning: Today’s chauffer-driven executive, politician or other high roller finds the cramped rear seats of the Lexus LS, the brand’s flagship, or the Toyota Century, the staid old-school V-12 limousine usually spotted outside four-star restaurants, too confining.
They need their vehicles to be mobile office spaces, impromptu meeting rooms, executive committee shuttle buses and emergency catnap and clothes-changing venues. And they need to do it in style.
“If I go out to dinner with four people, I can’t take my chauffeured LS,” the dealer complains. Instead, he takes his Toyota Alphard van, with decidedly less panache. “There is space to change my clothes, and I can go to a funeral and a wedding in the same day.”
Vans are one of the most popular vehicle segments in Japan (and other parts of Asia) because of their utility and comfort, two characteristics of the original RX when it was introduced in 1999 — however, the idea of a van runs counter to the current Lexus focus on performance & design, and seems unlikely at best.
It’s really no surprise that the article closes out with this quote:
Asked how Lexus executives responded to the van overture, the dealer said: “They don’t want it.”
(Note: The image above is a Wald International body kit for the Toyota Vellfire.)