Lexus Reevaluating the Existence of the GS and IS

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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lexus reevaluating the existence of the gs and is

While Lexus hasn’t confirmed anything, there’s growing speculation that the brand’s ES sedan will ultimately replace the GS. The model’s sales have trended downward since 2015, going from 23,117 U.S. deliveries that year to just 7,773 in 2017.


The brand hasn’t announced any plans to update it. Considering the fourth generation has been around since 2011, you’d think Lexus would have said something by now. But the company — like most luxury manufacturers — is preoccupied with moving utility vehicles. There’s now a three-row RX, and the smaller UX should help attract the younger demographic while allowing Lexus to dabble in a subscription-based sales model.

If it succeeds, the IS could be the next vehicle in the brand’s lineup to be tied to a tree and shot.

While the fate of the GS is practically guaranteed (the company has already discontinued it in Europe), the IS does better business overall. Still, annual sales have dropped each year since 2014 and the brand’s new U.S. general manager, David Christ, recently told Automotive News that Lexus is considering the future of both models.

That said, he also reiterated the company’s earlier promise not to betray consumers who prefer sedans and stated Lexus has high hopes for the ES. “There are still a lot of luxury cars being sold,” he said, “and we’re not going to abandon that market.”

However, it’s that market that will dictate just how true a statement that is. GS sales are almost trivial at this point and the IS has lost about half its strength. Both models are growing old and there’s no replacements scheduled that we know of. That’s going to result in the brand’s sedan lineup looking extremely lean, and it’s hard to imagine an explosion of sales for the RC or LC coupes as a result — but it’s a nice thought.

[Image: Lexus]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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6 of 52 comments
  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jun 13, 2018

    I don't have a lot of time today, so I'll make this short (for now) - Phuck Lexus! They are starting to circle the drain, and may just end up like Acura before too long!

    • See 1 previous
    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jun 13, 2018

      @sportyaccordy Not true. I may be more critical than the average person, and expect more of vehicles, but I discuss vehicles I like and that I believe are genuinely good, often. It's just that I speak more frequently and critically about the MANY vehicles that subpar and/or overpriced, many from formerly excellent and consistent manufacturers (e.g. Acura, e.g, Toyota, e.g, BMW, etc.), because this is a site devoted to critiquing vehicles, and I can't control what manufacturers decide to design/produce, which is sadly ebbing, as a whole, towards a new malaise era compared to the 1994 to 2006 era, which was a glorious time for the top quality/design manufacturers. It has not helped that the overall landscape has changed in such a way that the CUV, many (not all) of which are antiseptic, sterile and truly bland, has come to account for such a huge % of overall vehicle sales in the last decade.

  • Sal Collaziano Sal Collaziano on Jun 13, 2018

    Lexus had a great niche in the pure luxury department - and lost their Mojo chasing after sportiness. People don't buy Lexus for sporty characteristics - there are plenty of other makes for that. Lexus dropped the ball big-time and there will never be another opportunity to crush the market like there was in 1989.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sal Collaziano Sal Collaziano on Jun 13, 2018

      @volvo 100%. I'd buy a G90 over an LS500 right now... Hyundai sees Lexus losing its vision just like Lexus saw Cadillac and Lincoln do the same decades back. History continues to repeat itself...

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