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Lexus’ Global Strategy

Lexus Global Strategy

Automotive News has published a very interesting article with Karl Schlicht, the general manager in charge of global Lexus marketing and product planning, where he reveals fresh new details about what the future holds for the brand:

Toyota is pushing a new global theme of “progressive luxury” for its Lexus brand, including a greater focus on hybrids, advanced telematics and sporty packages.

The new strategy also calls for bolder design and may include entering new market segments.

He said the aim of progressive luxury is to strengthen an identity of smart luxury — where social responsibility and green credentials count as much as, if not more than, raw engine power and conspicuous consumption.

He said progressive luxury will be spelled out in future models through:

— More expressive, daring designs.
— Aggressive application of hybrid technology.
— Advanced use of onboard telematics.
— Expanded use of F and F Sports packages, following the IS-F and IS-F Sports performance variations. For starters, the sporty packages will be added to the CT and RX ranges.

A top priority is a coupe to fill the void left by the discontinued SC, Schlicht said. Other possibilities include new SUV variants. But going smaller than the CT is unlikely, he said.

“There are new segments developing as we speak, segments within segments,” said Schlicht, who joined Toyota in 1986. “I think there’s lots of potential future markets.”

Some thoughts:

  • This refinement of the Lexus brand is a smart move — the “green credentials” of hybrid technology & its “social responsibility” is balanced by a strong focus on performance packages. Nice way of addressing both enthusiasts & the general car-buying public.
  • The CTh was the first true indicator that Lexus is looking to grow outside the North American market, but it’s surprising that there won’t be anything slotted under the new hatchback. It looks like my dreams of a Lexus IQ are dashed.
  • Interesting how the article doesn’t mention a next-gen SC, but a coupe to replace it in the lineup — could mean a new model (Lexus FT-86, please.)
  • A RX F-Sport is a unique choice, but with so many RXs on the road, it’s great to see a new variant, and that will likely mean more and more sales. I hope it also means OEM lowering springs.
  • With the CT & RX getting F-Sport packages, could that mean a full-on CT-F & RX-F?

Despite its short length, the article is dense with new information, and I would quote the entire article if I could, as sometimes Automotive News sits behind a subscription wall. Luckily, Club Lexus has the full text, which I definitely recommend reading.

[Source: Automotive News]

Nice! Looks like Lexus is answering our calls! No smaller car than the CTh? GREAT Filling the void left by the SC absence? GREAT!!!
  • F
  • December 21, 2010
am still SAD they 'll delete the SC !!!!!!!!!! the car the take title best coupe on earth
@freespirit: Yeah... I hope they continue the SC nameplate, but just to let you know, the SC is already out of production even though it's still on the websites.
  • J
  • December 21, 2010
I'm hoping for the Lexus FT as the "coupe" that they are looking to bring into the lineup!!!
  • R
  • December 21, 2010
I can see Toyota & Lexus is changing ... hope they can pull back customer that lose from their recall problem .
  • S
  • December 21, 2010
The next generation IS series has already been flagged as being built and shared with the FT 86 Toyota platform at general meeting...2 full years away, but it's coming.
  • J
  • December 21, 2010
I still hope the SC wont disappear. I hope by 2012 (MY13) the new SC will be out *crosses fingers*. A CT-F would be nice, wont happen anytime soon that for sure (probably have to wait another 3-6 years). IS next gen coupe should / hopefully be based on the FT86.
  • F
  • December 21, 2010
see FT-86 is great but it is a Subaru i dreamed today about something really stupid but i want to share it what if Lexus & Lotus Merge in 1 brand just what if ? wow and delete all that FWD (CT,HS&ES) switching RX to be IS CUV JX to be GS CUV IX to be IS Sport cross GX to be GS Sport cross Delete the LX all vehicles have a lotus chassis & handling with Lexus power & refinement Lexus then became top seller in any place Leave a space for toyota which also merge with Subaru to step up in the luxury but with reasonable prices wow and that means Proton 'll step up and 'll be the core to go head to head with korean as Kia & Hyundai and european as Peugeot , Citroen , Renault , Skoda , Seat , Fiat sorry i must wake up
  • L
  • December 21, 2010
The SC is a must. The first-gen SC was my first Lexus and it has become the standard at which I expect all their other products no matter how dissimilar they are from it. I don't mind F-Sport packages for the CT and RX, but I cringe at the thought of a CT-F and RX-F. And expanding into new segments with new models is also a turn-off. It dilutes the brand in my opinion much like that of Mercedes-Benz. I can only hope that Lexus learns from their flop with the HS.
  • J
  • December 21, 2010
I wouldn't mind an RX-HF but could you announce it within the the next few weeks. I was thinking of ordering my RX H soon... :/
@Joshd: RXh F C! :D
  • T
  • December 22, 2010
I think they are applying the hybrid-only strategy starting by the ES300h. In three years, we should see a new coupe following by a compact SUV. Lexus is waiting unitl the compact SUV market is big enough so that it won't hurt its best selling RX sales. I hope they don't wait too long. Toyota is always a strategic follower than a leader even in hybrid car.