As Automotive News understands, Toyota North America’s CEO, Jim Lentz, is lamenting the decision made by Lexus to proceed with its two-doored RC coupe instead of developing a three-row SUV. Granted, the luxury arm of Toyota does sell three-row SUVs in the form of its GX and LX models but said models are truck-based while the largest crossover it has in its arsenal is the five-seater Lexus RX (pictured above).

“In hindsight, if I was making this decision 10 years ago, seeing what I see today, the three-row [crossover] probably would have been the better play to come out first,” said Lentz. “Strategically that’s a more important vehicle to have than necessarily a lower volume, higher priced image product,” he added. By adding said crossover into its range, Lexus would be able to take the fight to the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Though the firm has yet to confirm whether or not such a model was under development, Lexus division chief, Jeff Bracken, has commented that “third-row seating is the number one issue we hear from dealers. We feel like we’re missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity.” With that said, Lentz is adamant that the RC is not entirely a mistake – the coupe has chalked up 4,258 sales since the start of 2015.


Those figures actually better the marque’s flagship sedan, the LS, in terms of units moved for 2015. In fact, Lexus has little to worry as the brand now lags behind sales champion, Mercedes-Benz, by roughly 4,300 vehicles and second-placed BMW by around 2,400 units since the start of 2015 – close to a 17% leap compared to the same period recorded in 2014.

Spurred on by the encouraging figures, one might expect Lentz to push for the top spot. Instead, he’s chosen to keep to a different game plan by making sure that the range does not get overloaded with too many models and/or body styles. “In the luxury business, chasing volume is not a good strategy,” reinforced Lentz.

“Luxury cars cost a certain dollar amount for a reason. I don’t want to cheapen my cars just to offer a lease that’s $20 a month less,” he added, further quelling rumours of a Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3 competitor. For now, Lentz is content with the heights the IS sedan and CT hatch are reaching, in terms of pulling in new buyers to the brand.

GALLERY: 2016 Lexus RX 450h