Lexus GS: Fourth Generation

Lexus Discontinues the GS Sedan in Europe

Lexus GS Cancelled in Europe

It’s official. According to a recent post on the Lexus UK Facebook page, the GS sedan will be discontinued in Europe:

Since the launch of the first generation GS in 1993, we have sold about 74,000 units in Europe, including 20,000 GS hybrids. This year, sales in Europe amount at 1,494 units (Jan-Oct), a decrease of 20% vs. Jan-Oct 2016.

New development work would have been required in order for the GS to comply with the forthcoming change in emission regulations that will become mandatory in Europe by 1st September 2018. Given the fact that the GS is positioned at the higher end of the E-premium saloon segment where sales perspectives are limited, we have evaluated that such investment could not be justified.

The fate of the GS has been an ongoing concern since rumors of its cancelation started last year. Lexus Europe is the first to make a public announcement, and it’s currently unknown if and when other regions will follow suit.

Comments
spwolf
I dont think Europe cares about their fleet saloons being FWD or RWD. Most Audi's these days are FWD models with 2.0l diesel. Used to be 3.0 TDI AWD... So ES will fit there well enough and sell substantially better than GS ever had... of course, it will sell nothing like NX or RX, but if price is right it will sell better than IS.

I dont think 7 seater is a big deal here in EU. They sell Highlander in Russia and even LX, which is a best seller there, but these cars are too big and too expensive for Toyota EU.
I am primarily referring to Western Europe and trust me, I have met quite a number of folks that something a smidgen bigger than the RX and just buy an XC90, Q7, Discovery, or X5 instead, sometimes even GL/GLS (large). Russia isn't really what I was addressing, as their demographics in terms of vehicle shopping, is highly different. It is why focused on the UK and surrounding areas (like FR, Germany, etc), who buy Lexus the most in that part of Europe.

The majority of FWD A6s in Western and Central Europe are diesel. Will Toyota offer a diesel ES? No they won't. Can they guarantee that a hybrid is the best alternative? Well, we will see or if it will remain in niche volume sales.

There is a difference in the longitudinal layout of the MLB Evo versus the current FWD transverse K platform for various reasons, which the Legend (RL) and Accord (TSX) echoed the latter and failed to make a dent. I am not buying a GA-K Lexus Avalon as competition to the A6. They need to do it better than that as a Tier 1 midsize offering.

It is pretty much dumping at this point, instead of investing in a sufficiently attractive and well-positioned GS product, without intra-brand cannibalization. (Then again will it be cheaper than in US?). A transverse FWD platform with AWD tacked on, is much closer to S90 Volvo than to A6 2.0 TDI, let alone E200d or 520d. Now which of those two is doing better in EU/UK overall saloon sales? Volvo or Audi?

At the high end, Toyota better have developed an AWD system capable of besting Quattro in the eyes of local prospective buyers or do not expect the best sales results. There were many things wrong with the current GS to feasibly "fix" I could point out, but that isn't my job. Moreover Toyoda's and his subordinate employees.
spwolf
I dont think Europe cares about their fleet saloons being FWD or RWD. Most Audi's these days are FWD models with 2.0l diesel. Used to be 3.0 TDI AWD... So ES will fit there well enough and sell substantially better than GS ever had... of course, it will sell nothing like NX or RX, but if price is right it will sell better than IS.

I dont think 7 seater is a big deal here in EU. They sell Highlander in Russia and even LX, which is a best seller there, but these cars are too big and too expensive for Toyota EU.
I am primarily referring to Western Europe and trust me, I have met quite a number of folks that something a smidgen bigger than the RX and just buy an XC90, Q7, Discovery, or X5 instead, sometimes even GL/GLS (large). Russia isn't really what I was addressing, as their demographics in terms of vehicle shopping, is highly different. It is why focused on the UK and surrounding areas (like FR, Germany, etc), who buy Lexus the most in that part of Europe.

The majority of FWD A6s in Western and Central Europe are diesel. Will Toyota offer a diesel ES? No they won't. Can they guarantee that a hybrid is the best alternative? Well, we will see or if it will remain in niche volume sales.

There is a difference in the longitudinal layout of the MLB Evo versus the current FWD transverse K platform for various reasons, which the Legend (RL) and Accord (TSX) echoed the latter and failed to make a dent. I am not buying a GA-K Lexus Avalon as competition to the A6. They need to do it better than that as a Tier 1 midsize offering.

It is pretty much dumping at this point, instead of investing in a sufficiently attractive and well-positioned GS product, without intra-brand cannibalization. (Then again will it be cheaper than in US?). A transverse FWD platform with AWD tacked on, is much closer to S90 Volvo than to A6 2.0 TDI, let alone E200d or 520d. Now which of those two is doing better in EU/UK overall saloon sales? Volvo or Audi?

At the high end, Toyota better have developed an AWD system capable of besting Quattro in the eyes of local prospective buyers or do not expect the best sales results. There were many things wrong with the current GS to feasibly "fix" I could point out, but that isn't my job. Moreover Toyoda's and his subordinate employees.
Carmaker1
The majority of FWD A6s in Western and Central Europe are diesel. Will Toyota offer a diesel ES? No they won't. Can they guarantee that a hybrid is the best alternative? Well, we will see or if it will remain in niche volume sales.

There is a difference in the longitudinal layout of the MLB Evo versus the current FWD transverse K platform for various reasons, which the Legend (RL) and Accord (TSX) echoed the latter and failed to make a dent. I am not buying a GA-K Lexus Avalon as competition to the A6. They need to do it better than that as a Tier 1 midsize offering.
It will certainly remain niche in sales because whole Lexus brand is niche in sales in Europe... they dont even have Lexus dealers in every EU country.
What helps them out of that niche status is not ES or GS or IS, but NX, RX and certainly new UX.

As to the diesel vs hybrid, I am pretty sure if new 300h was in Audi, it would be very popular option vs their 2.0 tdi. Diesels sales are dramatically down throughout the Europe on month by month basis, even in Germany, despite them issuing PRs and campaigns offering replacement vehicles if diesels get banned in cities.

Moreover, Toyota Europe has had big success with their hybrids with dramatic increase in sales last year, and it will become only better with introduction of 2.0l hybrid.

So question here is - will 2019 ES outsell previous generation GS launches in Europe, and I am pretty sure it will easily do so, and even become #1 selling sedan for Lexus EU... something that their dealers need to increase sales per dealership and expand their networks.
Carmaker1
The majority of FWD A6s in Western and Central Europe are diesel. Will Toyota offer a diesel ES? No they won't. Can they guarantee that a hybrid is the best alternative? Well, we will see or if it will remain in niche volume sales.

There is a difference in the longitudinal layout of the MLB Evo versus the current FWD transverse K platform for various reasons, which the Legend (RL) and Accord (TSX) echoed the latter and failed to make a dent. I am not buying a GA-K Lexus Avalon as competition to the A6. They need to do it better than that as a Tier 1 midsize offering.
It will certainly remain niche in sales because whole Lexus brand is niche in sales in Europe... they dont even have Lexus dealers in every EU country.
What helps them out of that niche status is not ES or GS or IS, but NX, RX and certainly new UX.

As to the diesel vs hybrid, I am pretty sure if new 300h was in Audi, it would be very popular option vs their 2.0 tdi. Diesels sales are dramatically down throughout the Europe on month by month basis, even in Germany, despite them issuing PRs and campaigns offering replacement vehicles if diesels get banned in cities.

Moreover, Toyota Europe has had big success with their hybrids with dramatic increase in sales last year, and it will become only better with introduction of 2.0l hybrid.

So question here is - will 2019 ES outsell previous generation GS launches in Europe, and I am pretty sure it will easily do so, and even become #1 selling sedan for Lexus EU... something that their dealers need to increase sales per dealership and expand their networks.
Part of me just died.
I too am saddened by this news, but part of me is optimistic to see what Lexus is planning to fill this void left by the departing GS. I really like the way "Lexus RS F" sounds. Perhaps this should be the nameplate of the 4-Door coupe?
Well once sentence said it all: GS was positioned way too high on a price range axis in order to generate massive sales.
I wish all the luck to Lexus of Europe with new ES cause it's introduction might fix the sales numbers but it will introduce whole other issues for them. One of them will be cannibalization of higher trim IS just like how ES eats into GS sales in US. This will also be their first experience selling FWD Toyota derivative saloon as they call it over there and no one knows how customers will react to it in a long run. Second, it' pretty obvious they want to play in $45,000 range which means it will go head to head with base trims of A6, 5 and E, just for that sake I hope XV70 doesn't inherit XV60 interior cost cutting measures which were too obvious at the first glance. You could tell right away interior is in entry luxury category instead of luxury mid-size (ES= flimsy, GS= solid). All Germans in base trim come with top notch interior dashboard and console fit and finish in midsize class despite the lack of technology and veneer variety that's reserved for upper trim models where 4GS was fighting for it's slice of cake. It's not really encouraging that right off the bat XV70 interior layout is not up to par with current and upcoming mid-size Germans but once again I think Lexus will play value card where interior as pictured will be standard.

Like I said I wish them all the best but I'm sure within XV70's lifecycle they will cry for proper contemporary GS spiritual successor to join the line up cause Luxury is all about choices and most of the time sales of your bread'n'butter depends on those products in the line-up that don't sell so well but do give the notion of choice and perceive brand strength.
spwolf
it is just how it works... people are being delusional if they think that mass market that actually buys these vehicles cares about all V6, V8, AWD, RWD, FWD too much.

Most of Audi vehicles these days are FWD, and most of A4 and A6 are FWD 2.0tdi...

And then enthusiasts talk about twin turbos, RWD, V8, etc. All that matters little to average buyer that is getting base engine option.
Actually a very clever marketing strategy, that pays off-in the long term, and also doable because of their internal competition. American car makers have shown a lot of improvement too recently using a similar strategy. Japanese did the same thing back them. It does look like working competitively together within one country, 'raises all boats'. It would be interesting to study what events made the Japanese (even if Toyota is still Nr.1) -- but we could also study the Italians -- lose power. We shall however probably have the same case study in some years regarding the Germans, after the Korean or Chinese insurgency.
mediumhot
Well once sentence said it all: GS was positioned way too high on a price range axis in order to generate massive sales.
I wish all the luck to Lexus of Europe with new ES cause it's introduction might fix the sales numbers but it will introduce whole other issues for them. One of them will be cannibalization of higher trim IS just like how ES eats into GS sales in US. This will also be their first experience selling FWD Toyota derivative saloon as they call it over there and no one knows how customers will react to it in a long run.
IS is not great seller either... best sellers are NX, RX and CT.. as you say Toyota-derivative, so they have plenty of experience selling it <cheeky>

GS to succeed in Europe has to become something different. It could never win buyers long term by being a copy of German executive saloon. If they reborn it as 4 door coupe, with interesting looks, it will sell well in Europe again.

Lexus is new brand in Europe... a lot of people do not know it exists. Many important luxury markets like German markets are adverse to Toyota ever since recall scandals. To succeed, Toyota has to shock and awe. Most successful Toyota launch in past 10+ years has been C-HR, which is focused on design, and not done by the numbers like usual Toyota. This is why it will never succeed in America and why it is really successful in Europe.
p.s. as one German dealer wrote here few months ago, NX is finally a Lexus product whose sales did not drop off the cliff in 2nd year on market!
Btw BMW has just released 620d GT, yes a four cylinder diesel in a 6 Gran Turismo. No wonder GS couldn't compete when it was cornered left and right by German competition yet it couldn't strike back cause engine options were not nearly as flexible before facelift.
It may be just me being crazy but let's try to hold off on the GS obituaries so long as the 5GS program name and schedule still exists.

GS is discontinued in Europe, which makes sense because of the dismal sales and lack of wanting to invest new changes to the GS to follow EU regulations.

The brand new ES has been designed to work well in Europe in a pricing and design sweet spot. I hope Lexus kills it with ES sales in EU and I believe they will.

4GS sales in the US are similar to the lifetime sales of the 3GS so I'm not really worried about sales numbers in US. Many people freak out that 4GS sales are dismal in the last couple years but they just don't understand that its relatively normal when looking at the bigger picture.

Heres to a real 5GS 300B program coming to fruition, if LC, LS, and ES is any indicator, the 5GS could be an epic work of art.
A
What I don't understand is why would they discontinue based on regulations. Isn't it always about carbon emissions unless theres some other requirement here that Lexus can't comply? But what could that be? If it's emissions, isn't hybrid engines enough because I can't fathom a diesel but not a hybrid.

I still hope to see the GS reintroduced later on as a four door coupe.
asoksevil
What I don't understand is why would they discontinue based on regulations. Isn't it always about carbon emissions unless theres some other requirement here that Lexus can't comply? But what could that be? If it's emissions, isn't hybrid engines enough because I can't fathom a diesel but not a hybrid.

I still hope to see the GS reintroduced later on as a four door coupe.

I know that RC-F received particulate filter due to new emissions regulations in last month or so, not sure how it relates to 300h powertrain, but certainly does relate to GS-F... I noticed in Russia, where they dont have same emission standards, GS-F is still on sale.
To be honest this version of the GS has never enjoyed the success anywhere that the previous model did.
Fwd is not an issue all Audi models are Fwd and they seem to be selling pretty well. However I think the Es is a really big car compared to an A4 or 3series and that could be an issue Europe. I am surprised that the IS does not do better in Europe it is a more logical opposition to the smaller of the German trio and is Rwd and well speced except for a diesel which the Europeans have loved util very recently and they still sell well despite the green people.
Rob Grieveson
To be honest this version of the GS has never enjoyed the success anywhere that the previous model did.
Fwd is not an issue all Audi models are Fwd and they seem to be selling pretty well. However I think the Es is a really big car compared to an A4 or 3series and that could be an issue Europe. I am surprised that the IS does not do better in Europe it is a more logical opposition to the smaller of the German trio and is Rwd and well speced except for a diesel which the Europeans have loved util very recently and they still sell well despite the green people.
Markets are really different. In Western Europe sedan that sell well are rather big. If buyers want something smaller they usually buy hatches or CUVs instead of compact sedans. An in the city, a sedan is just as cumbersome to drive in some places as a SUV, so big SUVs also sell rather well, otherwise Mercedes and BMW would not make so many GLE/GLS and X5/X7.
Ok
I won't sell my GS-F now
Rob Grieveson
To be honest this version of the GS has never enjoyed the success anywhere that the previous model did.
Sorry, that is not accurate.

3GS total sales 2006-2011
84,765

4GS total sales 2012-2017
109,868

In fact 4GS sales were more consistent on a yearly basis, the worst year for the 4GS was 2017 and even at 7,773 units sold in US, it still beat 2011 3GS (6th year iteration equivalent) by double. Destroying the notion that many Lexus "enthusiasts" put out that 3GS was a far more successful and desirable car due to no spindle or whatever the silly reason of the day is.


Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_GS
https://lexusenthusiast.com/2018/01/03/lexus-december-2017-and-year-end-sales-report/
P. S. While Lexus targets c, 3,a4 in usa, i think pricing in Europe will be certainly closer to base 5 than 3 series.

BMW for instance discounts base models so much that 3, c, a4 killed midsize non premium sedans in Europe... They are basically at Camry price class.

UK Lexus head at launch mentioned how ES will have 8k.of extra equipment compared to the base GS, which is telling .
Germans dumping their 'premium' dirty diesels all over Europe, EU complaining China dumping electric bicycles all over Europe.
Please Lexus let this only happen in Europe not the rest of the other markets.
Given the fact that the GS is positioned at the higher end of the E-premium saloon segment where sales perspectives are limited, we have evaluated that such investment could not be justified.
This basically ends all discussion on why the GS never took off: it lacks a volume driver to take advantage of economy of scale. And guess why the GS never had an entry-level volume driver?

The GS was doomed in September 1989, before it even existed.
ssun30
This basically ends all discussion on why the GS never took off: it lacks a volume driver to take advantage of economy of scale. And guess why the GS never had an entry-level volume driver?

The GS was doomed in September 1989, before it even existed.
But GS in Europe did have cloth version with 300h powertrain to lower the price, but what is the point of that GS? It was not interesting vehicle for Europeans at all and it was still expensive.

For European customers, Lexus needs something stunning from GS, not just another German sedan, which is what 4GS attempted to be... they need something with interior opulence of LS, and crazy exterior design that would be noticed.

This is how NX became best selling vehicle for Lexus in Europe and only Lexus in history of brand to increase its sales in 3rd year on the market.
spwolf
But GS in Europe did have cloth version with 300h powertrain to lower the price, but what is the point of that GS? It was not interesting vehicle for Europeans at all and it was still expensive.

For European customers, Lexus needs something stunning from GS, not just another German sedan, which is what 4GS attempted to be... they need something with interior opulence of LS, and crazy exterior design that would be noticed.

This is how NX became best selling vehicle for Lexus in Europe and only Lexus in history of brand to increase its sales in 3rd year on the market.
My comment was referring to how the GS was doomed when Toyota decided to use the narrow-body Camry/Vista as the base for the stablemate of the LS in 1989, not the Mark II. The history of the brand would change significantly had the latter been chosen. It was not related to the European market since Lexus is a NA focused brand from the very beginning.
Honestly if it happened in Europe then it will be happen in all around the world
ssun30
My comment was referring to how the GS was doomed when Toyota decided to use the narrow-body Camry/Vista as the base for the stablemate of the LS in 1989, not the Mark II. The history of the brand would change significantly had the latter been chosen. It was not related to the European market since Lexus is a NA focused brand from the very beginning.
:praise:

Hard to call it a mistake given how the ES has sold over the years, but why Lexus chose the Camry over the Cressida I'll never know. It even looked like a Lexus:

View attachment 2859
Mark / Chaser / Cresta / Cressida
When I read those names I got a nostalgic fantasy

Those shouldn't been killed from the first place and Toyota shouldn't stop selling them ever
krew
:praise:

Hard to call it a mistake given how the ES has sold over the years, but why Lexus chose the Camry over the Cressida I'll never know. It even looked like a Lexus:

View attachment 2859
Indeed, that particular Cressida had launched in Japan as the 6th-gen Mark II in Japan just a year before the original Toyota Celsior/Lexus ES. Had it been pressed into duty as the original ES, it would've been a better, more competent and contemporary entry-level Lexus than the actual first ES - a warmed-over 2nd-gen Camry towards the end of its life cycle. And, had ES followed this RWD Mark II/Mark X lineage instead of its FWD Camry/Avalon pairing, perhaps GS would've never existed and we would've been spared the pain of RWD GS likely dying in favor of FWD ES.

J
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