Lexus is taking “a strategic look” at the IS and GS. In other words, don't get too attached to them.
Sedans are fast becoming an endangered species. Ford’s decision earlier this year to kill off most of its passenger car lineup shook up the automotive industry, but it isn’t the only automaker considering giving some of its current sedans the chop in favor of crossovers. While Lexus remains committed to the sedan segment, the IS and GS could get the axe as the segment continues to be a tough sell. The GS is since it’s already been discontinued in Europe to be replaced by the next-generation ES.
Lexus’ North American group vice president and general manager, David Christ, declined to confirm the model is being discontinued stateside. He did, however, tell that Lexus is taking a “strategic look” at both the IS and GS, hinting that the luxury sedans could be living on borrowed time. After all, both models are late in their life cycles and have been slow sellers in recent years. Lexus also hasn’t announced plans to replace them. Currently in its third-generation, the IS was first introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2012. Starting at $38,210, it's currently Lexus’ most affordable sedan in the US.
However, customers are flocking to the more practical NX crossover, which starts at $36,185. For just $740 more, you can also have the larger ES sedan. Combine that with poor sales (only 26,482 units were sold in the US last year compared to 51,358 models in 2014 according to Carsalesbase), and you can see why Lexus may find it hard to justify selling the IS, particularly when it continues to be outsold by its main rival, the BMW 3 Series. It’s a similar story with the GS. Only 7,773 units were sold in America, making it Lexus’ slowest selling sedan - a sharp decline from the 23,117 sold a couple of years earlier.
The ES has effectively cannibalized its sales since it’s larger, more powerful, more comfortable, and, crucially, more affordable. The 2019 ES will only make matters worse for the GS as rumors suggest it will eventually be offered with all-wheel drive, which is about the only advantage the GS has right now. “We’re certainly evaluating both vehicles,” Christ concluded, so the fate of the IS and GS looks uncertain.