Have you ever dreamed of owning a Lexus pickup truck? At Auto123, the idea never crossed our minds. And yet, the luxury automaker says that if enough Lexus customers ask for one (we'd love to know what would lead them to do so), the company just might come up with one.
That's one of the takeaways from a press conference held in Japan by Takashi Watanabe, the president of Lexus worldwide since last April.
While being clear there’s no pickup in the company's plans at the moment, Watanabe did say that Toyota's luxury division wasn’t closed to the idea, if ever customers clamoured for this type of vehicle.
This statement ties in with the new electric model that Lexus plans to unveil in October, as we reported yesterday. How so? Because Watanabe mentioned that electrification will allow Lexus to redefine itself, revise its image and innovate. An electric pickup certainly fits in with that, taking the company where it’s never been before.
A luxury pickup?
The history of luxury pickups is not littered with success stories. In the last 20 years, we’ve had the Lincoln Mark LT, a fancy version of the Ford F-150 that was offered for only a few years. Elsewhere in the world, Mercedes-Benz came out with the X-Class, a pickup based on the Nissan Navara. The model didn't last long.
Things could – could - be different if anyone were to conjure up an electric model designed as an SUV, but with a bed. We’re not betting on that, however.
“If there is a strong need from consumers … for Lexus to release or launch a pickup … it's a matter of a possibility in the future. We will not deny (customers) a Lexus pickup, but as of now we have no such discussions.”
- Takashi Watanabe, Lexus global president
If Lexus were one day to go ahead with such a project, the model would not be based on an existing Toyota product.
Perhaps the main takeaway from Watanabe’s comment-slash-trial-balloon is that Lexus wants to show it is serious about exploring new avenues. It’s an attitude that can only help its growth.