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]