JapanRumors

Lexus Luxury Minivan to Start Production in 2020

Lexus Minivan Face

As further proof Lexus plans to reveal a luxury minivan at the Shanghai Motor Show, the Chubu Keizai newspaper in Nagoya has reported that production of the new vehicle is slated for next year — from the translated article:

The company will start mass production in 2020 at its subsidiary Toyota Auto Body Inabe Factory (Inabe City). First of all, export and sales to China and Asia are expected.

In China and Asia, the popularity of large minivans, especially among wealthy people, is overheating. While responding quickly to the spread of demand, it intends to further enhance its brand image by introducing highly competitive products.

Toyota Auto Body is responsible for producing all Toyota vans sold overseas, including the Alphard luxury minivan that should share its underpinnings with the new Lexus version.

Lexus Alphard

Comments
I know it's just a Russian artist's conception of what an Alphard-based Lexus minivan could look like, but I think it looks way better than I would've anticipated. It'll be interesting to see how it compares to the real thing (provided, of course, the Lexus is launched in Shanghai on the 16th).
Joaquin Ruhi
I know it's just a Russian artist's conception of what an Alphard-based Lexus minivan could look like, but I think it looks way better than I would've anticipated. It'll be interesting to see how it compares to the real thing (provided, of course, the Lexus is launched in Shanghai on the 16th).
Lexus made the spindle work on the LX, and not only did it work but the execution was great.

I'm still not sure if this minivan was an April Fools joke or not but I hope its real and not much doubt in my mind that it will look good.
zeusus
Rendering looks good, pretty much as expected.

Lexus made the spindle work on the LX, and not only did it work but the execution was great.

I'm still not sure if this minivan was an April Fools joke or not but I hope its real and not much doubt in my mind that it will look good.
Don't worry there's no such thing as April's fool in Asia :)
^^Yes we do.
Should sell well in certain countries - a bit too much grille for my taste in these renderings would like the hood to come down further so that the grille is not quite so overpowering visually - otherwise looks very good.
Yes,it is Lexus LM,a flagship luxury MPV!
For comparison, here are the lightened Lexus LM teaser (top) and a side view of the Toyota Alphard (bottom);

[​IMG]

Joaquin Ruhi
For comparison, here are the lightened Lexus LM teaser (top) and a side view of the Toyota Alphard (bottom);

[​IMG]

One step first closer to confirming my fears - I really hope it's not a rebadge job with some tarting up on the inside. It needs a quintessentially Lexus design inside out. If this turns out to be a rebadge, then there'll be Alphard, Vellfire, Lexus LM - are 3 flavours necessary for vans?
Alphard usually outsells complete lexus lineup, so I guess yes?

It will definitely be lexus version of Alphard on the outside, I hope they change front dash, only thing not up to date there
mwyf
One step first closer to confirming my fears - I really hope it's not a rebadge job with some tarting up on the inside. It needs a quintessentially Lexus design inside out. If this turns out to be a rebadge, then there'll be Alphard, Vellfire, Lexus LM - are 3 flavours necessary for vans?
Oh dear... Based on that teaser, I am afraid that you're right... :eek::scream::bomb: I am very curious to see what Lexus designers can come up with based on the awful Alphard design.
mwyf
If this turns out to be a rebadge, then there'll be Alphard, Vellfire, Lexus LM - are 3 flavours necessary for vans?
Well, the Japanese domestic market offers 3 different flavors (Noah, Voxy and Esquire) for Toyota's smaller minivan. And commentary in our C-HR thread informs us that FAW Toyota China is launching the Vellfire at Auto Shanghai as a counterpart to the GAC Toyota Alphard.

Even as Toyota promises eventual consolidation of its 4 separate Japanese sales channels (implicitly eliminating duplicate variants of the same basic vehicle there), the internecine rivalry between FAW and GAC in China ensures that there will be duplicate Toyotas for the foreseeable future.
Hope they export this to ASEAN. They could overthrow Germans with this. LM will bring new customers and would introduce brand to many people. When they launched few weeks back luxury version of HiAce SE Asia's car media got VERY excited.
By looking at the dip in the front that goes all the way down towards the bottom-front lip, you can tell this grille is going to be ridiculously massive. Oh no.
Is this really a priority for Lexus?
I can imagine something more urgent (LF-1),
or will we have to wait another 4 years like with the UX?
It feels like... We already know everything abut this car...
ssun30
There is little incentive for them to jump to TNGA considering the only purpose of this model is to print money. The Alphard already is the best luxury minivan, period. The Alphard is relatively new and got its facelift last year with updated powertrains and interior. They cannot improve its competitiveness any further because there is no competitor.

We have to understand why the LM exists. This thing is targeted at the chinese market specifically, where the Alphard is a Veblen good: a luxury item that gets more popular the more expensive it gets. It reached that status because it is the best luxury minivan by a long shot. In JDM it costs between $35-55k (although there is a $150k special trim for VIP transport), but in China the MSRP is $120k and the average transaction price is $170k. Dealership add huge markups on them due to huge demand and limited supply. People who buy an Alphard would never compare it to a Mercedes V-Class, a Buick GL8 Avenir, or a Nissan Quest; they cross-shop it against Mercedes S-Class Maybach, Maserati Ghibli, and entry-level Bentleys, in which case $170k is a bargain. Even at such ridiculous prices they sold over one thousand of these a month, more than the LS, LX, and LC combined.

The LM will be the profit maximization machine for them, so they will do whatever they can to reduce costs. They could already command a ridiculous premium without a TNGA update because it is already the best. Let's just forget this stupidity and look at the bright side: it will be so profitable that it will pay for R&D for all their F models in the future.
Yes, and that's why I said I wouldn't be terribly surprised, but only terribly disappointed that Lexus isn't holding its brand name to a higher standard.
ydooby
Yes, and that's why I said I wouldn't be terribly surprised, but only terribly disappointed, that Lexus isn't holding its brand name to a higher standard.
You mean like Mercedes does in Europe selling their cars cheap to be used as taxis?
zeusus
You mean like Mercedes does in Europe selling their cars cheap to be used as taxis?
A3->Golf->Octavia->Toledo
A4->Passat->Superb->Exeo
Q2->Troc->Kamiq
Macan->Q5->Tiguan->Kodiaq->Tarraco
List goes on and on
My neighbours' A5 and A6 didn't have leather seats lol 50k€ car
zeusus
You mean like Mercedes does in Europe selling their cars cheap to be used as taxis?
I mean that the MC platform that the Alphard is based on is not only ancient but decidedly "cheap", unworthy of a premium brand, with low-grade steel used everywhere and low rigidity as a result. The new TNGA platform is much more premium-grade and worthy of use in a premium vehicle, but Toyota is able to keep its costs in line with the old platforms only because of its modular design enabling much better economy of scale. Since the current Alphard is already 4 years into the product cycle, Lexus should instead develop a new TNGA-based MPV which the next-generation Alphard can adopt in 2 years. The Mercedes taxis, as well as many models in the VAG family, are still premium vehicles in my book because of the premium-grade platforms they're based on, despite being equipped with few amenities.
flexus
A3->Golf->Octavia->Toledo
A4->Passat->Superb->Exeo
Q2->Troc->Kamiq
Macan->Q5->Tiguan->Kodiaq->Tarraco
List goes on and on
My neighbours' A5 and A6 didn't have leather seats lol 50k€ car
Q7->Atlas
Q8->Urus->Cayenne coupe
ydooby
I mean that the MC platform that the Alphard is based on is not only ancient but decidedly "cheap", unworthy of a premium brand, with low-grade steel used everywhere and low rigidity as a result. The new TNGA platform is much more premium-grade and worthy of use in a premium vehicle, but Toyota is able to keep its costs in line with the old platforms only because of its modular design enabling much better economy of scale. Since the current Alphard is already 4 years into the product cycle, Lexus should instead develop a new TNGA-based MPV which the next-generation Alphard can adopt in 2 years. The Mercedes taxis, as well as many models in the VAG family, are still premium vehicles in my book because of the premium-grade platforms they're based on, despite being equipped with few amenities.
Great points, a superior platform is a superior platform. But at the same time...

How many actual Alphard buyers in Asia care about the difference between MC and TNGA platforms? Why is the Alphard so highly regarded by it's actual and potential buyers while at the same time, mild sentiments on extremely niche web forums are calling it cheap?

Mercedes has the sprinter, which can either be an inventory mover or a celebrity/executive van. Said celebrities and/or executives also don't care that the same van is used as a mobile warehouse, as long as what they're in, is comfortable.

This is a counter point to your opinion that this new LM (which hasn't even been unveiled yet), is "terribly disappointing" and doesn't hold the Lexus brand to a "higher standard"
OlFius
Is this really a priority for Lexus?
I can imagine something more urgent (LF-1),
or will we have to wait another 4 years like with the UX?
It's free money, and they don't appear to be putting much effort into the rebadge. So I don't think this is blocking LF-1, and the money it makes might help steer bean counter eyes away from the LC-F and Dynamic Force TTV8.
zeusus
How many actual Alphard buyers in Asia care about the difference between MC and TNGA platforms? Why is the Alphard so highly regarded by it's actual and potential buyers while at the same time, mild sentiments on extremely niche web forums are calling it cheap?
I'm gonna pull out one of my least-favorite social media-isms here because it fits: The *clap* LM *clap* isn't *clap* for *clap* us *clap* it's *clap* for *clap* Asia.
ydooby
I mean that the MC platform that the Alphard is based on is not only ancient but decidedly "cheap", unworthy of a premium brand, with low-grade steel used everywhere and low rigidity as a result. The new TNGA platform is much more premium-grade and worthy of use in a premium vehicle, but Toyota is able to keep its costs in line with the old platforms only because of its modular design enabling much better economy of scale. Since the current Alphard is already 4 years into the product cycle, Lexus should instead develop a new TNGA-based MPV which the next-generation Alphard can adopt in 2 years. The Mercedes taxis, as well as many models in the VAG family, are still premium vehicles in my book because of the premium-grade platforms they're based on, despite being equipped with few amenities.
This is probably my biggest problem with the LM - it is a GM-esque desperate money grab: No type of engineering innovation, no flagship product development and not even keeping pace with Toyota's new philosophy, despite being a Lexus flagship product.

If any other brand launched a "flagship" product based on a platform that dates back two decades, we'd all be pointing fingers and laughing. Maybe they really don't need to invest much because it's a limited market product. Maybe they think they can just lightly rebadge the Alphard and win with that. But also, I don't really want to think of Lexus as a company that is rebadging old Toyota products to add to their flagship line. Since the Alphard is already 4 years old, it should be ready for a switch to TNGA in the next 1-2 years... while LM spends the next 6 on the MC platform? Sad. Another missed Lexus opportunity to lead.
Gecko
Since the Alphard is already 4 years old, it should be ready for a switch to TNGA in the next 1-2 years... while LM spends the next 6 on the MC platform? Sad. Another missed Lexus opportunity to lead.
I wouldn't be that pessimistic. The 1st-gen LM might only be built in its about-to-debut form for 2 or 3 years and then fall into line with Alphard and Vellfire's 4th-generation which should debut around 2021-2022. Think back to Lexus' origins here in the U.S. The original ES was a 2-year-only barely-disguised-Camry stopgap until a better-differentiated, more luxurious and "properly Lexus" Toyota Windom-derived ES appeared.
I’m so proud that this really happened, lol
I don't think this can be classified as a minivan. LM =Luxury Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Minivans are typically passenger vehicles while this van would probably have 4-5 seats with lots of space since it is a flagship.
Gecko
Since the Alphard is already 4 years old, it should be ready for a switch to TNGA in the next 1-2 years... while LM spends the next 6 on the MC platform? Sad. Another missed Lexus opportunity to lead.
More like they waited too long on the LM so now it's an awkward time to launch it. They should have green-lit the vehicle right after the Alphard proved to be a tremendous success in China, but hindsight is 20/20. Three years ago nobody really knew the Alphard would go viral and outsell all luxury sedans sans the S-Class in 2019, its success was entirely a coincidence.

2018 would be a perfect moment together with the Alphard facelift so it is a year too late. I'm not that concerned since the LM is badge-engineered anyway so I wouldn't be surprised if the 1st-gen has a very short life cycle. There is no incentive for them to keep producing the LM on an old platform when the entire Alphard line switches to TNGA. The cost to maintain the old line may not be worth it.

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