Toyota Motor Corp. plans to expand its U.S. sport utility vehicle line with the Lexus GX 470 in 2003, as Japan's biggest automaker
looks to boost its luxury brand's slowing light-truck sales.
The new SUV, a midsize model that falls between the two current Lexus sport utilities in size and is equipped with a V-8 engine, will be shown at next month's Detroit Auto Show and will begin sales in January 2003, according to Lexus spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell.
The GX 470 will cost between $45,000 and
$50,000, Hubbell said.
By adding the GX 470 between the smaller RX 300 and the larger LX 470, the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S. will have a full range of SUVs, according to Hubbell.
U.S. sales of Lexus' two sport utility vehicles, the LX 470 and the RX 300, have fallen 17 percent to 78,060 this year through November from the year-earlier period as competition in the luxury segment grows, according to Bloomberg News.
Still, Toyota is having a record year in the United States, with total sales rising 7.5 percent to 1.6 million vehicles, aided by a 22 percent gain for all its light trucks.