Lexus May Create A Minivan For Asian Markets
Raymond Rodriguez, CEO of the Lexus Manila, has appealed to the Japanese carmaker requesting to develop a luxury minivan. He believes such a vehicle has a good market potential in Asian markets.
The segment of minivans is not very popular in North America where customers prefer SUVs, but in the Philippines the situation is different. Luxury minivans are used as chauffeur-driven vehicles in Japan, Eastern Europe and Asia. They provide a high level of space and comfort not available in sedans, and can be in-demand in some markets.
Mr. Rodriguez is impressed by the success of the Toyota Alphard (pictured) and supposes that arrival of a minivan under a premium brand is logical, especially if Lexus wants to keep up with competitors.
Lexus has already built new more luxurious models out of existing Toyotas. For example, the Lexus RX is based on the Toyota Harrier, the Lexus IS comes from the Toyota Altezza, the Lexus ES originates from the Toyota Camry (Avalon), the Lexus GX and LX are based on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser, respectively.
Despite expectations in the Philippines, the Lexus minivan will hardly be as popular as its sibling from Toyota. Lexus itself is focused on the segment of crossovers, which is a priority for the brand. The compact Lexus UX has been released, a successor to the full-sized Lexus LX is being prepared.