TOKYO -- Anxious to boost Lexus' sex appeal, Akio Toyoda is making clear which categories of vehicles will work for the luxury brand and which simply aren't seductive enough.
So what about a Lexus sporty coupe? Yes, that'll work. A premium station wagon? Nope. A stylish sedan? Most definitely.
A seven-seat SUV? Hmm. Mr. Toyoda will have to get back to you.
Lack of sexiness is one reason Lexus won't chase European rivals in offering station wagons, Toyoda says. And it's also a reason to not rush out a family-hauling, seven-seat SUV.
The car guy CEO, whose grandfather founded Lexus' parent company, Toyota, says it is time for the brand to err on the side of emotion, rather than utility.
Interviewed at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, Toyoda said Lexus is entering a new phase symbolized by the LF-FC concept that debuted here, an elegant fuel cell sedan, and the RC coupe launched last year.
The key words are "emotional and cool," he said. The kind of cars being considered internally underscores the new outlook.
"If it had been a few years ago, the vehicle symbolizing the new chapter would have been a station wagon," Toyoda said.