Is Lexus Planning to Build a Luxury Minivan?

Lexus Alphard Minivan

Lexus could bring a luxury minivan to market, according to Raymond Rodriguez, president of Lexus Manila — from Auto Industriya:

“It’s only a matter of time,” said Mr. Raymond Rodriguez, the president of Lexus Manila. “As a luxury auto maker, ayaw mag paiwan ng Lexus [Lexus does not want to be left behind].”

The chief executive of Lexus Manila said that a Lexus “Alphard” could be very successful in the market, if domestic sales figures -particularly the long waiting lists for the luxury van- are any indication. He also cited industry figures, particularly the Philippine sales of Mercedes-Benz vans: 105 units year to date. If Lexus can bring a van model with high levels of comfort and luxury, he said they can acquire a big chunk of that pie.

“Toyota has such a superior product like the Alphard,” continued the boss of LMI. “What more can you expect from Lexus?”

A minivan may run counter to the current Lexus focus on performance & design, but this is a popular segment outside of North America. In Japan, Eastern Europe and Asia, luxury minivans are used as a chauffeur-driven vehicle, providing a level of space and comfort that’s not available in the LS sedan or even the LX SUV. The whole idea is unlikely, but there’s no arguing its appeal.

(The photo above is the Toyota Alphard, as modified by Japanese tuner Modellista.)