On June 5th, the official picture of LBX, the new SUV model of Lexus, was officially released. The new car, like Toyota's YARiS Cross, is based on the TNGA-B platform and locates a small SUV, which is lower than the Lexus UX and is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder hybrid system. According to the plan, the new car will be introduced to Europe, Japan and other global markets in the fourth quarter of 2023, and delivery will begin in March 2024. It is not clear when the new car will be introduced domestically.
In terms of appearance, the new car uses the latest Lexus brand family design language. The front face is designed with a large trapezoidal grille with a honeycomb grid inside, which is similar to the new generation of RX and LM. However, the new car uses a penetrating metal strip design above the grille to make the front face feel more layered and connect the headlight groups on the left and right sides, which still use the Lexus family style. In the rear part, the new car adopts through-type taillight design, which echoes with the front face, and the exhaust is a hidden exhaust layout with relative movement as a whole.
In terms of body size, the length, width and height of the new car is 4190/1825/1560mm, the wheelbase is 2580mm, and the positioning is small SUV. As a comparison, Toyota YARiS Cross length, width and height are 4180/1765/1590mm, wheelbase 2560mm; Toyota C-HR length, width and height are 4385/1795/1565mm, wheelbase is 2640mm.
Interior part, from the published official picture, the new car uses a large number of leather and Alcantara double package design, the main tone is dark. In configuration, the new car uses the latest Lexus brand embracing center console design style, with 12.3-inch LCD dashboards and 9.8-inch multimedia displays, while the three-spoke steering wheel retains the Lexus family-style layout.
In terms of power, the new car is equipped with a 1.5L three-cylinder hybrid system with a maximum power of 136hp and a peak torque of 185Nm. The transmission system will match the E-CVT gearbox and provide E-Four four-wheel drive system.
Lexus is a luxury brand of Toyota Group, a Japanese car company. At present, all its models are imported into the Chinese market, and the best-selling models include ES, RX, NX and so on. As a classic representative of domestic second-tier luxury brands, Lexus has a very outstanding performance in the market before 2022, even if the price increase does not affect sales, but this bright performance will stop in 2022.
Insurance figures show that Lexus insured 219200 vehicles in China in 2021, down 6.89% from the same period last year. It fell to 184000 in 2022, down 16.06% from the same period last year, and its first sales in China plummeted for the first time in 16 years. It should be noted that this decline is based on the enlarged discounts for most Lexus models. However, even with such a large promotional offer, it is still difficult to recover the decline in Lexus sales in the Chinese market.
After entering 2023, this situation will continue. Lexus sales totaled 30258 vehicles in the first quarter of this year, down 37 per cent from a year earlier, according to the Federation of passengers. Among the models in the segment, the highest-selling model was the Lexus ES, with cumulative sales of 15655 vehicles, but down 39 per cent from a year earlier.
For the continued decline in Lexus sales in China, the industry believes that the main reason may be its own slow electrification transformation, unable to keep up with the mainstream of the car market and cost-effective models. In addition, domestic car-building new forces, including Ulai, ideal and other brands have also begun to seize the luxury brand market, second-tier luxury brand market share has been carved up. Last December, Li Bin, chairman of Xilai Automobile, said bluntly that he was confident of overtaking Lexus this year.
At present, the models with good sales performance of Lexus in the domestic market include ES (price range of 29.69-488900 yuan), RX (price range of 40.5-619000 yuan), NX (price range of 31.88-548800 yuan) and so on. With the follow-up listing of Lexus LBX, the car will become the latest entry-level model of the Lexus brand SUV product line. From the positioning of the new car, the price of the new car may be lower than that of the current Lexus UX. As a reference, the domestic price range of the current Lexus UX is 26.78-337800 yuan. in other words, if the new car has the opportunity to be introduced into the domestic market, it may be priced below 260000 yuan, and compete with luxury brands such as Audi Q2L (the price range is 22.88-268800 yuan).
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