Although Toyota has faced many uphill battles over the past year, it is still considered very successful. Unfortunately, the Luxury division of Lexus has not had the same results. It may appear like its doing fine to the common American eye having outperformed both the Tri-Pointed Star and Beamer, in the U.S. The problem lies in its performance around the rest of the world where Lexus sales simply succumb to the German rivals.
Toyota CEO, Akio Toyodo, is tuned into the problems, and is dedicated on creating some soluitoins. In addition to witnessing the brand's wilting global performance, Karl Schlicht, General Manager Product & Marketing, Lexus went to Toyodo directly and told him the brand needed a leader. Toyodo took this seriously, and has decided to take on the task himself.
In order to get Lexus back into shape, Toyoda has assembled a stand-alone Lexus division within Toyota. The team will rule the brand's design, development and strategic marketing efforts worldwide. Toyodo will be involved with all aspects, including have all the senior managers reporting t him.
You might wonder how this opulent brand got into this situation? It boils down to two words: Erratic management. Before Toyoda took measures into his own hands, various Toyota managers circled around the luxury division each year. With a lack of experience in the luxury brand world and varying ideas on how the brand should be run, Lexus products and branding have largely been inconsistent.
Toyodo, however, plans to instill in Lexus the consistency and proven strategies that have made Toyota such a reputable brand. "I am passionate about the future of Lexus, and wanted to be personally involved," he 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
Do you want to learn more about Toyota and its luxury arm? Stay tuned. R & H Toyota, located at 9801 Reisterstown Road Owings Mill, MD 21117, is dedicated to keeping you informed.