Automotive News is reporting that Lexus is trying to separate itself from Toyota as it tries to come up with a new strategy that will give BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners a reason to switch.
Automotive News is reporting that Lexus is trying to separate itself from Toyota as it tries to come up with a new strategy that will give BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners a reason to switch. To conquer BMW and Mercedes drivers, we can’t just be looked at as an upgraded version of Toyota,” said Kiyotaka Ise, who took the helm of Lexus in 2007. “We want our brand to be chosen for its character and handling.”
Toyota has a whole has decided to finally add more emotion into its models with what it calls “emotional designs.” “Lexus is leading the way in how the entire Toyota Motor Corporation should operate,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at the world premier of the GS in August last year at Pebble Beach, Calif. The first step to revamp the Lexus brand and to separate it more from Toyota was the separation of Lexus engineers and designers from their Toyota peers, four years ago. The group then settled on the hourglass-like spindle grill as the common design element of all new Lexus models.
“What was missing for Lexus was a centralized brand image,” said Takashi Aoki, a senior fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “If you compared an entry-level Lexus car to that of BMW, the impression that Lexus gave was nowhere near the luxury image BMW’s car had.”
“For any successful brand, you need to make sure there’s some distance,” said Karl Schlicht, general manager for product and marketing planning at Lexus. “We don’t want to be known as a Toyota plus; that’s not what people pay for premium.”