Akio Toyoda Shares Lexus Future Plans


Lexus Akio Toyoda

Hans Greimel of Automotive News recently interviewed Toyota president Akio Toyoda on his new role as the head of Lexus:

In March, Toyoda reorganized the company by splitting it into four parts.

The other business units have an executive vice president who reports to Toyoda. But for Lexus, the president cut out the middleman.

“What other brands have, but Lexus lacks, is a story, its own story, narrative or history,” Toyoda said before the April 19 launch party for a global marketing campaign for Lexus. “I think the contents I can bring, as the head of a global company, also as a racing driver and as part of the founding family, could be conducive to story-making for Lexus.”

The entire article is worth reading, but Toyoda’s plans for the future of Lexus should be highlighted:

His own opinions about what the cars should be often butt heads with those of the Toyota bureaucracy. But Toyoda said that the jousting of opinions, a rarity in the past, is needed to churn out better cars.

“By having competition and conflict between the ideas that the bureaucracy has and my own personal concept of what the Lexus brand should be, that will bring us closer to what Lexus should be and the polished gem I want it to be,” Toyoda said.

“Before, we’d begin by talking about how many units we can sell, how much money we can make. Now, before even doing that, we’re starting with, ‘Wow, I want to build that car,’” Toyoda said. “We are now moving in the direction of a new Lexus.”

Since taking over as Toyota president in 2009, Toyoda’s imprint on the Lexus brand is undeniable. The LFA may be the most dramatic proof of his impact, but the real changes began with the 2013 GS — the new fourth-generation sports sedan not only debuted the spindle grille, but also introduced Toyoda’s hyper-focus on performance to the core Lexus models.

In less than two years, nearly every model in the lineup has been updated, and the entire character of the brand has been changed to reflect the man in charge — Akio Toyoda is molding Lexus into something very different, and this is only the beginning.

[Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)]

Comments


  • Mr. Lexus
  • BlackDynamiteOnline

    He’s “The Chef of The Future”!

    Translation: Concentrate on making great cars, not profitable cars, and you’ll reap all of the rewards you seek.

    And it sounds like he is going to take on Lexus as his own personal pet project. Talk about good news!
    BD

  • steve

    I like what I’m seeing. His point about conflict being good reminds me of government. Ideally, republicans and democrats work together to find the best solution for the people, but that never happens. May Lexus have much more success.

  • Sabrina Winstone

    Now that the new design language is firmly established it’s time for Toyota to focus on building new engines!

  • Dre

    What new engines?

    What’s wrong with the current reliable, powerful, efficient and smooth motors? They also offer Hybrids and all that.

    I driven the IS350 against 335i and the IS350 was faster from dig, consumed less gas and sounded much nicer. And is obviously more reliable.

    IS250 over 320i etc etc etc

    Look at Ford they have new turbo 4′s and all their cars with them engines are slow, unrefined and unreliable.

  • Dre

    **325i

  • FooFoo

    It will be a great opportunity to deliver this message to Akio.

    Do not insult the taste of the consumer. Creating characteristic of the Lexus brand is a good idea, but you also have to look at the consumer taste, not only yours. Distinctive does not mean ugly. Benz and BMW can do that with both sales and characteristics. In fact, Lexus has its own image. A smooth, refined, and perfect vehicle. Why mess with it? Now it is your job to think about that.

    Second, are you considering only pushing down the average age of your customer?? Do you think of appropriate income of the age range and your model?? Lexus GS price is for 50+ years old people, but you design it for 30 years old people. Who will buy?

    Third, Lexus GS is proven a failure of your execution. It is exactly Akio product. Do not mess the RX or ES with ugly style. Bureaucracy is doing good with this product. People like it. Do not make product that you like but no one want to buy.

    Forth, downsizing vehicles or engine are not only to meet the regulations but people also have brain now, and they try to buy things that appropriately-sized.

    Fifth, I hope the Lexus NX will do better than the Evoque or the GLA. Do not mess up with the C/D pillar like in the CT.

    I am exciting about the next cycle of SUV.

  • BlackDynamiteOnline

    Calm down, over there.

    The GS has ALWAYS been a sales failure. It’s sales dive is really just following the last three generation’s sale trajectory.

    Lexus made it more fun to drive, more interesting to look at, and more efficient, with a great hybrid option. And outside of the grille, it is pretty tame in design. They priced it correctly, and they spent a great deal on advertising. And the media has been very supportive, with many calling it simply the best in class.

    Sometime, The People miss a great car. It has happened to other companies, and the GS is the Fall Guy for Lexus.
    BD

  • Brad

    Great!…You got that off your chest…..Now let me ask you a question…..Who do you think you are talking to Akio like that?…If we we’re all half of the men & women that Toyoda San is,the World would be a pretty great place!Your opinion is valued more when you address people in the appropiate tone…

  • The JetEngine,, Ts030

    Mr Akio Toyoda ,please focus on the le mans toyota ts030 program as well,, we need to go all out with the ts030, I understand that the company is really busy with many other projects and that is all about bussines but the ts030 should be like the lfa is to lexus, not about profit, but that we can make it happened”build the badest racing machine in the world” ,,but i hope you give the green light and open up the budget and go full speed with the le mans program,,we need to shut everyone that says that toyota does not have a high end racing background, ,,as much as i like F1 racing, this is where toyota belongs, in the highest form of racing, World Endurance Racing! please do not pull the plug like the Ts020,, lets dominate le mans and show audi and the germans who is boss :-)..june 22 the 24 hours of le mans ,,everybody here watch the race.!!!