Levi

Admirer
Messages
664
Reaction score
729
I have not paid attention to the discussion in this thread. A Lexus MPV/van is possible, but on what would it be based? From a marketing perspective it would be tough to sell one that is badged Lexus. I do not know how a Lexus badged Trundra would do. And MPV/vans are different between countries. In Asia we see the vans being a lot smaller and being car based, rather than heavy duty. In Europe however, vans that sell as premium/luxury are not MPVs with a luxury/premium badge. The are usually proper medium duty vans with luxury interiors and features and sell for up to € 80K. These are the VW Transporter and Mercedes V Class, but they are still utility based vehicles. Unlike pick-up trucks, that are gaining traction in Europe, vans catering long ago to such a market (VIP shuttles), have not yet gained mainstream attention. Toyota's van, co-developed with PSA, can't successfully be Lexus-ified. Overall, I do not think a Lexus MPV/van can be made successful, but a sub-brand is possible, however it would have to be marketed regionally rather than internationally. The only 'luxury' MPV in Europe, and quite successful in France is the new Renault Espace. Unfortunately it lacks AWD, and it has no sliding rear doors, a must IMO for luxury vans or any vehicle claiming to be people and cargo practical.

In the US, a Lexus based on the Sienna could be possible and fit the brand, being car based rather than utility, but in the US vans do not seem to have any market at all, being outclassed by CUVs/SUVs in the car market, and by trucks even in the utility market.
 
Last edited:

ssun30

Expert
Messages
1,407
Reaction score
2,759
@Levi

The answer is very simple. It will be based on the Alphard. The Alphard is purpose-built for VIP transport so no delivery van- or family van-based vehicle can match its comfort. I've sat in the captain chairs in both the Alphard and the V-Class, and the ride quality isn't even close. The delivery van nature of the V-class shows its ugly face on low quality roads, and both the gasoline and diesel variants have rough engines that are underpowered.

The only problem with the Alphard is that it's very tall which limits practicality. Its 1.9m height becomes a problem in a lot of underground parking lots. But that's mostly because it needed clearance for wheelchair access, since the Alphard is very often used to transport seniors and disabled people in Japan. The Lexus version could easily rectify this problem by lowering the roof to 1.8m.
 

mwyf

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
44
Reaction score
86
Seems to reinforce Lexus' registering the "LM" series trade marks.
Not at all surprising, to be honest. Lexus could capitalise on Toyota's expertise in making minivans and people movers. Such a model could be successful in the Asian markets. But the difficulty, in my view, would be for Lexus to differentiate its eventual product from Toyota's offerings. The Alphard and Vellfire are already extremely luxurious. Lexus really has its work cut out.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,264
Reaction score
1,848
Actually, if you read the trademark tea leaves, maybe the idea of a Lexus minivan may not be so far-fetched. As noted both here and on my Kaizen Factor blog, Toyota's latest seemingly Lexus-related trademarks are LQ (with no numbers attached), LM 300h and LM 350. What if LQ is for the production version of the LF-1 Limitless RWD-based crossover and LM 300h and LM 350 are for a GA-K platform Lexus minivan offshoot of the upcoming 4th-gen Toyota Sienna?
 

mwyf

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
44
Reaction score
86
What if LQ is for the production version of the LF-1 Limitless RWD-based crossover
Toyota registering characters that seemingly conform with Lexus nomenclature really says nothing. I would always be careful when speculating. I have mentioned extensively a couple of times on these forums that letter-only registrations have not been used for at least 7 or 8 years now. It's likely that Toyota has other internal uses for these trademarks. Trade marks for Lexus models, if you look on TMView, Lexus model names of current times are always registered in "XX ###" format.

While LQ could be the production LF-1, my personal thought is that it is merely probable, rather than possible.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,264
Reaction score
1,848
Toyota registering characters that seemingly conform with Lexus nomenclature really says nothing. I would always be careful when speculating. I have mentioned extensively a couple of times on these forums that letter-only registrations have not been used for at least 7 or 8 years now. It's likely that Toyota has other internal uses for these trademarks. Trade marks for Lexus models, if you look on TMView, Lexus model names of current times are always registered in "XX ###" format.

While LQ could be the production LF-1, my personal thought is that it is merely probable, rather than possible.
You're right. I agree. We're on the same page on this.

Every time I discover a relevant new trademark and write a Kaizen Factor commentary piece, I'm careful to couch the article as informed speculation, rather than anything officially confirmed. You're even more correct about the slimmer likelihood of two letter-only Lexus-style trademarks without a 3-digit number seeing the light of day on a production vehicle. Note how I ended my Kaizen Factor piece on the LQ trademark:

Could LQ ultimately wind up in the trademark graveyard?
As we have done so often in the past, we remind you that the registration of a trademark is no guarantee of its eventual, actual use. And Lexus’ crossover-centric prefixes are particularly vulnerable. We have seen VX, JX and TX allowed to lapse and die unused. Might LQ, perhaps, see the same fate?
 

Joaquin Ruhi

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,264
Reaction score
1,848
Hmmmmm, maybe my wife will finally buy a minivan.... :cool:
gotta admit some of those minivans sold in Japan are actually pretty cool looking. Not sure if the American market is ready for them.
If your wife's mentality is anything like I remember, you're going to have an uphill battle convincing her to drive a minivan, Lexus badge or not... :p
 

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,341
Reaction score
2,321
Actually, if you read the trademark tea leaves, maybe the idea of a Lexus minivan may not be so far-fetched. As noted both here and on my Kaizen Factor blog, Toyota's latest seemingly Lexus-related trademarks are LQ (with no numbers attached), LM 300h and LM 350. What if LQ is for the production version of the LF-1 Limitless RWD-based crossover and LM 300h and LM 350 are for a GA-K platform Lexus minivan offshoot of the upcoming 4th-gen Toyota Sienna?
I remember when Lexus US said that they are not planning minivan Lexus.... so I thought it would never happen.

BUT

With Lexus push into Asia, that makes a lot of sense... it is going to make even more sense for them to do that minivan. It might not be offered everywhere, just like ES or LX were not offered everywhere.

Toyota is doing really good with luxury minivans in Asia... they sell far more of those than sedans. So it would make sense to make Lexus version in their continued push into getting more market share.
 

mwyf

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
44
Reaction score
86
I'm a Chinese.
From the website of Trademark Office of The state administration for industry & commerce of P.R.C.
I get this screenshot,"LQ" is be registed with words "toyota".
That's extinguishes any doubts.
 

GSCT

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
246
Reaction score
327
That's extinguishes any doubts.
I hope so! A Lexus minivan may make all the sense in the world in Asia etc., but IMO it would be abandoning everything Lexus has worked for elsewhere for “no boring cars”. Unfortunately, nothing says “boring” better than a minivan.
 

mikeavelli

Connoisseur
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
4,223
Reaction score
8,309
I just haven't heard dealers begging for a Lexus van at all.

What I can share is Toyota was shocked to see OTD prices of the Sienna. Then they were even more shocked to see guys modify them and dump another 5-20k in them. We are talking 50-60k easy...I'm pretty tight with Vankulture, the biggest vanning club here expanding around the globe and learned a ton the past few years working with them and Toyota on the project below...



Now while the transaction prices are there, does this make sense for Lexus? To this day the "Van" stigma is just bad to the general masses. Note the Benz R Class is gone.

I do think there is room in the market for it, a very niche product.
 

ssun30

Expert
Messages
1,407
Reaction score
2,759
Minivan is becoming the preferred way of transport among business people in Asia. Sedans are just too impractical. A LM300h/LM350 combo will easily outsell the LS, and the LM350 can end up being more expensive than the LS500h in actual transaction price. The profit is just too lucrative to let pass. Lexus needs easy profit models like LX and LM to keep funding expensive prestige projects like LC and LS.

With a LM300h starting at ¥600k and LM350 starting at ¥800k I would be surprised they fail to push 500+ units a month. The Alphard currently sells 4,000 units a year (because that's about how many LHDs they make) with a mark up of close to 50% (!) and a wait list of 12 months. Dealerships are desparate enough that they have to import USDM Sienna to meet the demand.

If the LM doesn't have a market in US or Americans think it's boring, then don't sell it there.
 

GSCT

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
246
Reaction score
327
I just haven't heard dealers begging for a Lexus van at all.

What I can share is Toyota was shocked to see OTD prices of the Sienna. Then they were even more shocked to see guys modify them and dump another 5-20k in them. We are talking 50-60k easy...I'm pretty tight with Vankulture, the biggest vanning club here expanding around the globe and learned a ton the past few years working with them and Toyota on the project below...



Now while the transaction prices are there, does this make sense for Lexus? To this day the "Van" stigma is just bad to the general masses. Note the Benz R Class is gone.

I do think there is room in the market for it, a very niche product.
Well, I am amazed and pleased to see there are “cool” vans. Thanks for posting this!
 
Top