Lexus retailers have long sought a large, three-row crossover to compete with offerings from other luxury brands. Toyota dealers, meanwhile, have asked the brand to replace the Land Cruiser, which is ending its long run in the U.S.
“I think it allows us to compete with some of the big American SUVs but give an offering that gives better fuel economy,” said Robby Findlay, chairman of the Toyota National Dealer Council. “A lot of the Highlander competitors have just a little more space, and I think what they’re going for is something a little bigger.”
The new models will feature “a semi-automated driving system — which will allow for hands-free driving in certain conditions — a remote parking system allowing the driver to park and unpark from outside the vehicle using a smartphone, and a digital key that turns a user’s smartphone into their key and allows them to share it digitally,” Toyota said.
The $803 million will be used “to prepare the manufacturing line for the new vehicles, production-employee training, as well as provide supplier re-tooling at their facilities,” the company said.