We often dip one foot into the sprawling world of patent and trademark applications, where we sometimes find interesting information about the automobile. Navigation can be a frustrating digital highway, but we know our way around the curves and that has led us to a few recent Toyota depots. Specifically, we found trademarks for TX350 and TX500h on September 8th.
We know that this alphanumeric layout does not belong to Toyota, but rather to the premium Lexus division of the automaker. We also know the X the designation designates an SUV from the Lexus range, and h refers of course to a hybrid. 350 and 500 also exist as nicknames in various Lexus model lines, both on the coupe and SUV side.
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So what does this mean for the future of the automaker? That’s a good question, and it’s a question the rumor mill is pretty quiet about at the moment. We know that NX sales fell 5.4% in 2019 and 17.9% in the first quarter of 2020. We also know that sales of the larger and considerably older GX declined slightly over the year. last, but fell 5.7% in the first quarter of this year. Sales of the flagship LX SUV fell 30.9% in the first quarter, so it’s conceivable that a new TX model could replace one of those lines. But we have additional information that could point us to a replacement for the GX.
For starters, we’ve heard before that a new flagship LQ SUV could fit into the mix, either replacing or simply standing on top of the LX. If we go back several years, we also have an old report that Lexus was actually planning a replacement for the GX called TX. Additionally, this report referred to the TX as a seven-seat unibody design versus the body-on-frame construction used by the GX. Since the vast majority of Lexus luxury SUV owners are unlikely to be interested in the rugged off-road benefits such a build offers, replacing it with a three-row unibody crossover certainly makes sense.
At this point, it’s just pure speculation. We have heard very little about Lexus and have had nothing in terms of spy photos for over a year. Filings are made with the US Patent and Trademark Office only, further suggesting that this may be a US-only model. And there is always the possibility that Lexus will simply protect its TX brand for possible future use.