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https://www.goauto.com.au/news/lexus/gs/lexus-backs-gs-future-large-liftback-likely/2017-06-09/57412.htmlLEXUS Australia chief executive Peter McGregor has rejected reports that the next-generation GS large car has been cancelled, pointing instead to a possible evolution of the traditional sedan into a more fashionable coupe-style model.
The current, fourth-generation GS launched in Australia in 2012 and is due for imminent replacement, however Lexus globally has not yet communicated a timeline for the successor for its BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class rival.
A report from Japanese magazine MagX earlier this year quoted an internal Lexus source saying that the next-generation GS had been cancelled, however that appears to be incorrect, according to Mr McGregor.
“I think it (new GS) would still be a four-door sedan in terms of its application, but the exterior styling may appear to be more liftback,” he told GoAuto at the national media launch of the Lexus LC in Tyabb, Victoria, this week.
“I’m not saying anything about the future, I’m just saying if you … want to talk about how we’re going to reinvigorate the sedan market, I think you can probably take a clue from the design of the next-generation LS.
“The styling of the vehicle is very much moving from a traditional three-box sedan, if you will, to more of a liftback body style. And I think that that change will actually add great appeal to the sedan market.”
While cautioning that he “can’t really speak about those future models” in detail, Mr McGregor admitted that even a new-generation GS would struggle to improve the overall fortunes of the large passenger car market.
“Do I think it (a new liftback) will reverse the trend to SUV?” he asked.
“No, I don’t. I think what we’re seeing with SUVs is going to be something that will be impacting our luxury market as it’s impacted luxury markets around the world for a period of time.
“But I don’t think that means that we give up on sedans at all.”
The $70K-plus large sedan and wagon market is up 37 per cent year-to-date, according to VFACTS May 2017 results, however this is entirely on the back of volume warfare between the just-released 5 Series (688 sales so far this year, up 196.6 per cent) and the barely older E-Class (876 units, up 135.5 per cent).
The fresh German duo have decimated rivals in the segment, with the Lexus GS down 17.4 per cent to 76 year-to-date sales, and the Audi A6 (129 units, falling 43.2 per cent) and Jaguar XF (98 sales, down 49.2 per cent) only slightly ahead.
Although the Lexus RX in the $70K-plus large SUV category has achieved 768 sales this year, down 6.7 per cent, according to Mr McGregor it is not a fait accompli that the Japanese luxury brand would abandon the large sedan market.
“It's pretty competitive,” he acknowledged of the situation.
“(But) the answer to that is not to withdraw, I don’t think. The answer to that is okay, our time will come, let’s make sure that we continue to offer great customer service and let’s make sure when our new product does arrive that they will understand the benefits of that product.” Asked whether Lexus dealers thought there was still room in showrooms for both the GS and its slightly smaller ES mid-size sedan sibling, Mr McGregor replied: “I think what dealers like is a full line-up.
“They want to be able to offer a competitive product that meets the market requirement in every key segment,” he continued.
“While we see the sedan segment in decline, and while we understand that based on competitive life cycles that sometimes that you have an older model while a competitor has a new model, and that impacts things, we understand that.”
The ES, which starts from $63,750 plus on-road costs compared with $76,220 for the GS, has recorded a slightly higher and steady 109 sales this year – down by a single unit compared with May last year.
The best looking GS IMO is still the 3GS i hope they can make the 5GS better than that.
Please, no ES F Sport, no hiatus. An ES F Sport would tarnish the image and not appeal to anyone. The last thing in the world the white belt wearing ES buyer wants is a firm riding, sports oriented car. (On the other hand, what do I know? The RX F Sport seems to sell well.). And no hiatus as I would like to replace my GS before 2019.I agree ... all things considered, a hiatus for the GS seems likely. And hopefully an ES F-Sport will stand in temporarily. Looking forward to October 2018!
I have mine in storage in Cali right now too bad am going to have to sell it. I hope they keep making the GS so the price of the GSF can drop because that's the only way am getting in a 4GS. But if the 5GS can be as good looking as the 3GS with a reasonable power increase that might be my next car. Two cars am looking forward to the new GS and the supposed Supra.
I agree this GS was far better looking than the current model in my opinion so hopefully the next one will re capture some magic.
You'll have to allow me some dramatic flair when naming these stories -- I do have to draw in readers after all. No one can deny the 3GS was an early adopter of the four-door coupe style, but the 4GS went back to a more traditional 3-box design and lost that angle completely.Reinvented? The 3GS was already essentially a 4-door coupe. Making the GS a 4 door coupe (again) would not be a new thing.
I think this minor brand course correction with the LC & LS has the product planners all confused.Overall, excited with this news but Lexus should have been planning this strategy shift for the last 3-4 years, preparing to drop something into market around 2020.
Sorry if it seemed I was specifically singling out your writing, not my intention .You'll have to allow me some dramatic flair when naming these stories -- I do have to draw in readers after all. No one can deny the 3GS was an early adopter of the four-door coupe style, but the 4GS went back to a more traditional 3-box design and lost that angle completely.
No worries! It's very telling to me that the original GoAuto article doesn't reference the 3GS either -- I bet McGregor was talking to journalists with no real sense of Lexus history.Sorry if it seemed I was specifically singling out your writing, not my intention .
My post was meant more so to the comments by Lexus Australia CEO Peter McGregor. You're right, the GS did lose that angle with the 4GS, but I just find Peter McGregor's comments a bit ironic since a liftback/fastback/4 door coupe style is not new to the GS.