Lexus is considering a crossover even smaller than the NX, according to an Autocar interview with Lexus Europe vice president Alain Uyttenhoven:
Uyttenhoven said the launch of a small SUV was “not impossible” for Lexus and such a model “made sense” for the brand, but he stopped short of confirming it for production.
Lexus is looking to downsize and diversify its model range to reduce its reliance on the North American market, which accounts for around half of its 500,000-plus unit annual sales.
He noted that premium cars were getting ever smaller, and around 60 per cent of premium models sold in Europe were sold for less than 40,000 euros. “The premium market starts with a car as small as the Audi A1,” he said.
While it’s true Lexus is trying to expand in other markets worldwide, the brand may not yet be in a position to build vehicles that won’t succeed in North America as well.
That said, the BMW X1 is currently averaging 2,000 sales per month in the USA, so there’s certainly a market for a subcompact crossover.
(Curious that Uyttenhoven mentions the Audi A1 — could Lexus also be thinking about a subcompact car as well?)