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New Lexus Small Car Could Arrive by 2012 – Possibly Sooner

Maker gauging reaction, but downsize luxury trend unavoidable.

by on Nov.19, 2009

Lexus is likely to launch a small car, perhaps by 2012, reflecting the emerging market for downsized - but well-equipped - luxury vehicles. A possible design, the LF-Ch, is shown here.

Lexus is likely to launch a small car, perhaps by 2012, reflecting the emerging market for downsized - but well-equipped - luxury vehicles. A possible design, the LF-Ch, is shown here.

Lexus, the largest luxury brand in the U.S., is giving serious thought to launching a new, downsized luxury model, and could bring it to market within the next couple years, the brand’s general manager told

How soon and precisely what form the new product will take remains uncertain, though it’s likely to have many of the characteristics of the LF-Ch concept vehicle that the Toyota luxury division unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, in September.  Downsizing is particularly critical, said Lexus General Manager Mark Templin, to the marque’s planned expansion around the world.

“There is a group of buyers growing up now who won’t buy cars by the pound,” noted Templin, adding that, “We have already seen a structural shift” to the smaller and lower-priced segments of the luxury market over the last couple years.

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The so-called Premium Luxury segments have been especially hard-hit by the recession, analysts offering a variety of suggestions why, including the possibility the most affluent buyers don’t want to be seen flaunting their wealth at a time when their companies may be cutting back.  But it also appears that even those who don’t worry about appearances may simply be finding smaller vehicles more attractive.


2009 Frankfurt Motor Show Round-Up!

by on Sep.18, 2009


More than 50 new cars, trucks and crossovers debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The press days are over, and the public is spilling through the turnstiles at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.  But if you can’t make it to the sprawling Frankfurt Messe, don’t fret. was there and has in-depth coverage of all the breaking news, the previews, the people…and more.

Check the next page to see the continuing, updated list of stories to find out more about everything from the BMW Vision Diesel-Hybrid to the Mercedes-Benz SLS supercar, from the updated Ford C-Max to the new Hyundai i10 Battery-Electric Vehicle.


Spotlight on the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show

The 63rd IAA kicks off a critical new auto show season.

by on Sep.13, 2009

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 63rd IAAWhen the gates open at the Frankfurt Messe, earlier Tuesday morning, it will kick off two days of organized chaos.

The biennial Frankfurt Motor Show, officially known as the 63rd IAA, is one of the world’s largest car shows – however you measure it: raw size, number of new product intros, public attendance or media coverage – and one of the most significant.

Indeed, the events of recent months will all converge at the sprawling conference center, which measures nearly a full kilometer from front to back, starting with last week’s news that General Motors will go ahead with plans to sell a 55% stake in its German-based Opel subsidiary.

Your Auto Show Source!

Your Auto Show Source!

Expect a lot of questions to be raised about the impact of that sale on the weakened U.S. maker’s long-term plans.  In recent years, Opel had been playing an ever more critical role as a key product development center for GM, and whether that can continue with the parts supplier, Magna International, now the dominant stakeholder remains to be seen.