As a company, Toyota has prevailed through trends, time, and evolving demands. As a brand, Toyota is clearly identifiable and consistent. It is this strong image and consistency, in fact, that has helped drive the company to its role as leader of the worldwide auto industry.
Unfortunately, while it seems Toyota's luxury arm, Lexus, is just as successful, it really is not. Sure, it beat out other top luxury auto makers in U.S. sales last year. But, when you compare them to luxury sales in other markets across the globe, it becomes evident, the U.S. is an exception to the rule.
The reason Lexus is having a difficult time keeping up doesn't have to do with the integrity of the product, rather the inconsistency of design, development and brand image. Over the years, numerous managers from Toyota have stepped in to lead the company, taking it in a multitude of different directions. Happily... this erratic, confusing pattern is about to change.
Karl Schlicht, General Manager, Product &
Marketing, Lexus, went to Toyoda CEO, Akio Toyodo and broached the need for a
solid, directed leader. Toyodo decided to take on the role himself.
Already, Toyoda has developed a stand-alone Lexus division within Toyota. The apt team will rule the brand's design, development and strategic marketing efforts worldwide. And, all of the Lexus team senior managers are required to report directly to Toyodo. In short, Toyodo means business.
"I am passionate about the future of Lexus, and wanted to be personally involved," Toyodo said in a recent interview with Motor Trend magazine. "...Toyota once dreamed about being the biggest [auto] company. But I want to aspire for it to be the best."1
Interested in learning more about Toyodo's plans for Lexus? Stay tuned. Toyota of New Orleans, is dedicated to keeping you informed.