Early this morning, Toyota President Akio Toyoda unveiled the company’s new “Global Vision”, a strategic plan that sets the ground rules for the next five years.
As expected, most of announcement centered around Toyota, but there was some Lexus-specific information, which I’ll quote in full:
- Position Lexus as a truly global premium brand.
- Assert characteristic Lexus strengths in product quality and in adding value, and in conscientious service to evoke the Lexus appeal, emphasizing emotive ride, original design and advanced technology.
- Offer Lexus models in a growing range of emerging markets, and expand the Lexus sales networks in markets where the brand is already a presence.
Here’s how I read it:
- Clearly, there’s going to be a major focus on building the Lexus brand in markets other than the USA — something that was foreshadowed already with the introduction of the CT 200h luxury compact, which sits in a market segment ignored by most of the U.S. population. This could point towards an even-smaller sub-compact, though I doubt it.
- The second point is more difficult to pin down, though “emotive ride” does seem to emphasize Lexus’ move towards a more sports-oriented brand image. Really though, this is just a restatement of Lexus’ core values.
- Again, we’ve seen this point in action already with the recent lower-power, lower-cost variants of the ES & RX now available in China. This trend is sure to spread throughout the Lexus lineup.
As with any global vision, Toyota’s future outline is light on specifics, but does promise some major changes for the entire company and all its parts — for a broader look at today’s announcement, I recommend reading the Toyota press release followed by Chester Dawson’s coverage for the Wall Street Journal.