Rumors claim Lexus is worried the GS and the new LS will overlap.Lexus has canceled the development of the next-generation GS, according to a report published in Japan.Enthusiast magazine MAG-X learned the GS has been axed because Lexus officials are worried it will overlap with the new LS flagship that debuted in January at the Detroit Auto Show. The LS is markedly bigger than the GS, but both cars now come standard with a V6 engine. The hot-rodded, V8-powered GS F model (pictured) represents only a small fraction of sales.
The global decline of the sedan segment is another nail in the GS' coffin. Crossovers and SUVs now dominate the market in the United States and in China, and the GS has never managed to truly compete against the Germans on their home turf. It's difficult for executives to make a sound business case for the development of a brand-new sedan that's not certain to meet its sales targets.
The GS' life has been in jeopardy before. As website Lexus Enthusiast points out, it was almost axed at the end of the previous model's life cycle.
"I didn't want this car. Regional management teams fought me like crazy," revealed Toyota boss Akio Toyoda in an interview with Automotive News during the launch of the current-generation model in 2011.
Like most automakers, Lexus has a policy of not openly commenting on industry rumors. The next GS was tentatively scheduled to debut next year, so we'll have to be patient to find out whether the nameplate will live on.
Photo by Byron Hurd.