Notes from the 2014 Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting

Lexus 2014 USA National Dealer Meeting

The Toyota Driver’s Seat blog has posted a recap of the recent Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting, which took place in Los Angeles and celebrated the brand’s 25th anniversary:  

There were enticing previews of commercials for the RC and NX, coming to Lexus showrooms within the next two months. There was Akio Toyoda inspiring the crowd with his passionate message. There were plenty of light-hearted moments. But the overall message was clear: Be proud of what Lexus has done in the last 25 years, push to make the next 25 years even better.

All future product news was obviously left out of the article, but the featured parts of Akio Toyoda’s speech are worth highlighting in full:

“Welcome to the fulfillment of a dream, a vision, a belief that together we could create something truly meaningful,”  Toyoda said. “And that dream, ladies and gentlemen, is Lexus.”

“Although this is an important anniversary for us, in many ways I consider it a kind of rebirth,” he said. “An opportunity to say ‘Ok, now what?’ Or perhaps more importantly, ‘What if?’ What if we really go after the competition? What if we exceed every customer expectation and then some? What if we develop technologies no one has even thought of yet? And what if we make cars that literally take your breath away? To me, Lexus should be a canvas for automotive artistry.”

Toyoda-san continues to refine his vision for Lexus, and there’s plenty in his speech today that shows a minor correction in the brand’s direction.

The recent focus on performance and design has shifted to customer expectation and artistry, two characteristics that have been key pillars for Lexus over the past 25 years — in fact, almost all of the “what if” scenarios suggested by Toyoda-san are what made the very first LS 400 special.

(Really recommend reading the full article, there’s plenty of insight into how Lexus USA will approach the next year.)

Read more about the 2014 Lexus USA National Dealer Meeting

Lexus Short Films 2014 Now Online

Lexus Short Films 2014

After a summer making the rounds at international film festivals around the world, this year’s Lexus Short Films are now available for viewing online.

Operation Barn Owl

The first film is Operation Barn Owl, directed by Satuski Okawa and co-written by Ken Ochiai. The story is tough to describe without giving too much away — essentially, a woman in love with her best friend must help with his marriage proposal to another woman.

Overall, the film has a whimsical air — it’s quirky, musical, surprising in its conclusion, and really quite enjoyable. As you would expect, a Lexus makes an appearance:

Lexus Operation Barn Owl NX

Market Hours

The first film is Market Hours, written and directed by Jon Goldman. It tells of a security guard at the Sixth Street Market in Los Angles who’s lost in his own thoughts, in love with one of the vendors, and on the verge of losing his job.

The RC F SPORT makes an appearance late in the film, bright and white and very noticeable:

Lexus Short Films Market Hours RC

I attended the world premiere of these two films back in May, and wrote about the experience in some detail — I do think it’s worth highlighting my conclusion here:

Despite the name, Lexus Short Films are not exclusively for people with an existing interest in the brand. These short films are meant for a wider audience, for all types of people.

Admittedly, it was a nice touch involving Lexus vehicles in the films this year, but it’s beside the point. These films are meant to be enjoyed on their own, independent of title sponsor.

What does the Lexus Short Film series mean to Lexus enthusiasts? It’s a statement by Lexus, and a tangible example of their commitment to bringing new emotion to the brand.

The filmmakers involved are young and talented, and are so thankful for the opportunity — writing and directing a big-budget short film at the beginning of their careers is a remarkable achievement, and they should be proud of the result. And so should Lexus.

New Lexus NX Commercial from Australia

Lexus Australia Commercial

Lexus Australia has released their new NX commercial, and it’s a good one:

(Really like the end screen graphics on this commercial — very nice spindle grille to Lexus logo transition.)

Photo Gallery: Lexus LFA at Fuji Speedway

Lexus LFA Sport Auto Feature

German magazine Sport Auto travelled to the Fuji Speedway in Japan for one last lap with the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition.

The full German language article can be read here — I really liked the accompanying photos:

See the full Sport Auto article (Thanks Jimbo!)

New Lexus RC F Video from Japan

Lexus RC F Carbon Package

The RC F has also officially launched in Japan — the Lexus Japan website has been updated, and there’s a new track video well worth watching: