It is an open secret that many of Lexus’ vehicle offering are or were derived from an existing Toyota product. This isn't really surprising considering that Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota. This means that an existing model from Toyota could have a Lexus version in the future. Would that hold true for the Toyota Alphard luxury minivan?
While Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota, the latter also builds its own luxury vehicles. The Toyota Alphard -- named after the brightest star in the constellation Hydra -- is one of these luxury vehicles. Also known as the Toyota Vellfire, the Alphard luxury minivan is available either as a seven-seater or an eight-seater. Aside from the usual gasoline version, the Alphard is also available as a hybrid, employing Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.
The Alphard could be a viable candidate for “adoption” at Lexus. After all, a number of Toyota models had been adopted Lexus. For instance, the Lexus RX and IS were originally derived from the Toyota Harrier and Altezza, respectively. Likewise, the Lexus GX and LX were originally derived from the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser. In addition, the Lexus ES was derived initially from the Toyota Camry, and then from the Avalon.
The curious people at Auto Industriya got intrigued by the fact a Toyota luxury minivan still has no equivalent counterpart at Lexus. Raymond Rodriguez, the president and chief executive of Lexus Manila, Inc. (LMI), provided them with the answer they might looking for – it is only a matter of time.
While the Toyota Alphard was primarily created for the Japanese market, Toyota started selling the luxury minivan in 2010, and it didn’t disappoint the carmaker’s local arm, Toyota Motor Philippines. According to a report from Auto Industriya, the Alphard minivan was able to thoroughly satisfy the cravings of Filipino motorists for a luxurious transport when it was first launched in the country, thanks to its capabilities, smooth gasoline powertrains, reclining seats as well as leg rests.
Because of the high demand for the Alphard in the Philippines, Toyota also included this market as one of the destinations for the third generation of the Alphard that was unveiled in 2015. This new generation proved to be as successful as, if not more than, the second-gen model that entered the country in 2010. In fact, there are long waiting lists for the Alphard in the country.
With this fact, Rodriguez believes that a Lexus version of the Alphard could be a big hit in the Philippines. He al believes that Lexus Manila could capture a great chuck of the more luxurious van market in the country, which currently led by Mercedes-Benz. According to Rodriguez, an Lexus “Aphard” would have a higher price and more exclusive, which means its waiting list wouldn’t be a long as the Toyota version.
Nonetheless, it is pretty to imagine Lexus to indulge itself into creating its version of the Toyota Alphard. There is a hotter segment for Lexus to think about – luxury SUVs and crossovers. A Lexus “Alphard” might be a success in the Philippines, but Lexus has to consider other, hungrier markets as well.