Insights from a Lexus Insider: Karl Schlicht Goes to Europe

Lexus Karl Schlicht

The following is a message from Karl Schlicht, the former general manager of global Lexus product & marketing planning.

Dear Lexus Enthusiasts,

First off, I must say it has been a honor to be involved with Lexus Enthusiast, and also having the chance to write the occasional blog post this year.

The relationship between Kevin & I started last year at the Lexus GS debut, when we two Canadians met by chance in the same shuttle ride to Pebble Beach. Right then and there, our ideas began to flow.

The people on this site — you — are tremendous, and so very passionate!! Led by Kevin’s constant and fast (and sometimes too fast) updates on anything Lexus, you truly motivate and drive us to do better — so thank you.

I will be heading to Europe, where I will be overseeing both Lexus & Toyota in what is arguably the toughest market for Japanese brands. I have held a Lexus post five times now (basically half of my career), and Lexus will always be my main passion within the TMC umbrella.

You will be in great hands back in Japan, as Mark Templin takes over the reins along with the extremely capable Andrew Kirby — both of whom hopefully take what we’ve started here at Lexus Enthusiast much further and better.

Lexus is on a roll — we have worked so hard to bring you some new world-class-leading models, all of which were developed during our toughest and darkest hours a few years back. We will never give up on our Relentless Pursuit, but now we want to push the boundaries even more and deliver Amazing. We want to give you amazing design, amazing interiors and amazing leaps in driving pleasure, just like what we’ve done with the GS (the next IS will be even better, I can personally confirm this). Of course, we want to do all this and continue to bring the best dealer service on the planet.

Thanks for being our inspiration — keep talking to us, and challenge us when we need to do better.

I will be watching!


Prior to his appointment as a managing officer of the Toyota Motor Company and executive vice president for sales at Toyota Motor Europe, Karl Schlicht was in charge of the Lexus worldwide product and marketing planning division.


  1. Oh America! Oh... wait... hehe
  2. " the next IS will be even better, I can personally confirm this"  - I like the sound of this. Looking forward to the first leaked photos, unveiling, etc. (Hopefully pre-LA Auto Show)
  3. (the next IS will be even better, I can personally confirm this). Not to read too much between the lines, but damn! he got me juiced by saying that. 
  4. An IS ready to take on the mighty 3?  After seeing the GS trounce the 535i, I can't wait!
    • On a completely unrelated note: Europe likes wagons.  A GS wagon would surely improve European sales.  North America is a large market for Lexus. Therefore, selling a GS wagon in the states = large sales increase! ...okay, not really, but I can dream, right?
  5. I called it ... I KNEW it.  Now, I can't wait for the new IS. The question is WHEN????? I wanna test drive it yesterday. I hate you Lexus ... but in a loving way.
  6. Karl I would like to say thank you for your posts on Lexus Enthusiast, and I wish you all the best in your new position in Europe. Can't wait for the new IS :) 
  7. Karl, all the best with the new position in Europe. Thanks for posting here on TLE, please continue to do so. Lexus is really leaping forward in the right direction. The 2013 GS is so spectacular and ES is very astonishing. Hopefully, the new IS will be even more awesome as it sounds. I'm really looking forward to it. It would be fantastic if it's revealed early next quarter.  Lexus is really living up to its slogan - the relentless pursuit of perfection.
  8. Dear Karl, I wish you the best for your new position in Europe and truly thank you for spending some time with us, Lexus enthusiasts! Regards, Jake
  9. Joe

    Thanks a lot, Karl...  and a warm welcome back to Europe !  
  10. Karl,  Thank you for listening to us and taking our opinions into consideration. Lexus is still a young brand in comparison and its great to know that the leadership is listening. We all want the Lexus brand to grow and glad we can grow with it.  Regards, Ryan
  11. Good luck on your new position Karl!! Like the others, I am HYPED (maybe overly? hehe) by your statement about the next IS. I love my IS but I am very anxious to see what the next gen brings. Cant wait:)!!!
  12. So, IS Next? Then LS in LA? :))))) Lexus needs a compact SUV for the Eoropean and Asian market.
    • 1-2 months ago, there were some rumors and speculations about the new IS. There was a dude who worked for Lexus who confirmed us that the new IS would have 2 versions, the petrol one and hybrid one (which was a 4-cylinder). Sometime later, this guy's posts were removed by someone. I believe it was Kevin itself because the original poster asked for that.
  13. Considering the trend of ES300h being trademarked (and coming to fruition) and IS300h also being trademarked, along with Lexus declaring bunch of new hybrid models, I think its almost a guarantee of a hybrid IS. I'm just hoping the F-Sport model will have an aggressive and different look compared to standard model, and an even more aggressive ISF   
  14. All the best Karl with your future endeavors.We value the time that you have spent with us & appreciate you listening to our feedback.I can't wait to see the next IS...especially the next IS-F!
  15. Mat

    Karl, Great to see you making a return to Europe and we can't wait to start selling the new GS in a few months and then the new IS (Hopefully) next year. Mat (Lexus Nottingham, UK)