When the Lexus brand launched in the United States, four models debuted almost right away: the LS full-size luxury sedan, the ES midsize luxury sedan, the SC coupe and the GS sports sedan. The LS and the ES endure, both having been redesigned many times over the years. The SC is long gone. And the GS …
Well, the GS probably should be going away.
The Lexus GS first came out for the 1993 model year, and it arrived to help shape Lexus into the brand it is today: an ultra-reliable, good-value, high-end luxury marque. It’s been redesigned four times over the years, and the latest version came out back in 2012 — and I suspect the end is nigh for the GS.
The main reason I think this is, of course, its sales numbers. In 2005, when the third-generation GS debuted, Lexus sold a massive 33,000 units — unthinkable in today’s market. The fourth-generation GS sold 25,000 units in its first year, which is still pretty strong. But last year, Lexus moved just 6,600 units — and sales have been in steady decline each of the last five years.
Normally, when sales reach this level, automakers know it’s time for a redesign — and they follow suit with a new model, which sells in stronger numbers. But this time, one has to wonder if it’s time to just end it. I say this because there’s another reason I think the GS may not be long for this world, and that would be the general decline in interest in sedans.
Consider it: Acura offered both the TL and the TSX, and merged them into one. Does Lexus really have room in its lineup for the IS, the ES, the GS and the LS, in today’s world of SUVs? Perhaps one could see an argument for the IS (the sporty one), the ES (the relaxed midsize one) and the LS (the flagship), but the sporty midsize one doesn’t seem to hold a place here anymore — and it appears, based on sales numbers, the market agrees.
With all of this in mind, we have to wonder. It’s been seven years since a new Lexus GS debuted, and we haven’t heard any reports of a new one on the horizon. Could it finally be time to say goodbye to the GS, after 25 years? Find a Lexus GS for sale