- Oct 9, 1999
You can't stop Toyota
Lexus is inching closer to the day when it offers a superluxury vehicle.
Executives at Toyota's luxury channel are in deep discussions on a halo model, said Irv Miller, group vice president of corporate communications for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
"I think you'll see (Lexus) vehicles in that area," Miller said during a meeting last week with Automotive News editors and reporters. "There's a market there for sure. There's a lot of discussion on halo effect on a franchise and a luxury market particularly. There is discussion going on how to go about doing that."
Miller said Lexus is considering everything from a four-door sedan to a super sports car to a hybrid with "plenty of low-end torque and 0-to-60 performance," adding: "That might be something the real enthusiasts embrace."
Yuki Funo, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said during a recent interview with Automotive News that a $100,000 car is high on Lexus' wish list.
"For the brand it is quite important," Funo said. "From a marketing and sales perspective, we need a strong product that should be regarded as the flagship or the ultimate Lexus. At a certain point we should have that kind of product. Doing something like a Maybach is too much. But we are thinking in the vicinity of $100,000."
Lexus General Manager Denny Clements has said a $100,000-plus sedan or sports coupe would make a perfect extension for the brand. But Clements acknowledged that Lexus must go into the market with eyes wide open.
"There isn't enough room for everybody," Clements said last month. "The depreciation of those cars is horrendous. You can't really make a business case for it."