Insights from a Lexus Insider: Introducing Andrew Kirby & the Lexus Ideas Engine

The following is a message from Andrew Kirby, general manager of Lexus global product & marketing planning in Japan, who will be taking over for Karl Schlicht in addressing Lexus Enthusiast readers directly from time to time.

Dear Lexus Enthusiasts,

Continuing from where Karl left off, I would like to provide some thoughts from inside Lexus — we appreciate your enthusiastic support of the brand, and hope to provide insights as events unfold.

For some background: I’m a South African who has spent my entire career in the motor industry, first working in South Africa, the US and now in Japan, where I’m part of the team growing the Lexus brand globally. I’m enjoying the opportunity, along with building my understanding of the Japanese culture and country.

Much has been said about the NY Auto Show and the reveal of the new ES, with positive responses on the extra space, the addition of a hybrid model and its styling. With the new ES 250 debuting at the Beijing Motor show last week, we will have a three model line-up globally with the ES 350, ES 300h and ES 250 accompanied with some healthy volume forecasts.

It’s been an active year so far, with the LF-LC concept car, face-lifted LX and RX and the new ES being revealed and strong demand building on the new GS. And that’s not all, so you can look forward to more news during the latter half of the year.

As always, we look forward to your comments and ideas on how Lexus can be improved, and I’m pleased to announce that the Lexus Ideas Engine project is now live, and will run to the end of May. If you have ideas relating to our products and brand, this is the place to share your thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say, so that together we can make Lexus even stronger.

Andrew Kirby is the general manager of the Lexus worldwide product and marketing planning division, which was formed two years ago to help guide the brand globally.

  • 0
  • May 3, 2012
So did Karl leave Lexus?
    • K
    • May 4, 2012
    Karl's is now a managing officer of the Toyota Motor Company and executive vice president for sales at Toyota Motor Europe -- essentially, he's handling both Toyota & Lexus in Europe.
Dang... I'm a little out of it right now. Everything I have to rant about is deep in the back of my head. I shall persist...
  • D
    Don Colione
  • May 3, 2012
Hi Andrew, Thank you for taking the time to address us, we appreciate the way Lexus is embracing its customers on this grassroots kind of level. I am sure you will, but please give much credence to the ideas and comments suggested by us because we are the ones who are backing you up on all of these forums, generally speaking, and financially as well.... We are your "fans" who love your vehicles and the principles that the company embraces, but have had little voice in the decision making processes thus far. That being said, we are also the ENTHUSIASTS, who may suggest ideas that are contrary to the bean counters, please seriously consider those as well. You should be able to see from Lexus' recent stroke of success; that it has been sparked by boldness and innovation! My only suggestions for the brand are to keep going on the path you have recently carved out. Sportiness, mixed with design, luxury, and high technology. We REALLY need some great coupes to solidify the brand! I used to own a 91' SC400 and would love to have another Lexus coupe in similar fashion to lust over, aside from the LFA that is:-) Please consider... Thanks 
    • L
      Lexus Fan
    • May 3, 2012
    Shame the latest designs are not appreciated bu many journalists, especially in Europe. One wonders why Lexus can't find the right design theme that is appreicated across the board, just like what i guess the Germans manage to achieve in most cases
Now please , release the kraken ... err , not right ... I meant release the Lexus IS Concept . :P
  • R
  • May 3, 2012
I have had the pleasure to meet Andrew a few times over the last 2 years. He is incredibly knowledgeable and Lexus is lucky to have him on their team.
  • B
  • May 4, 2012
Outside of fixing that hoodline on the new ES, and fast-tracking the LF-LC into production, I'm good! BD
  • E
    Erich Kerner
  • May 4, 2012
No F-Sport models for the ES lineup?? Why not? Another thing at Lexus i don´t understand is....Lexus often doesn´t take the opportunity to "simply" add models to an existing car and so "create" a little "family". Best example i think is the "new" CT. Over one year on the market now and still "just" one engine option + F Sport model. And i know what my dealer in Munich will say to me next year.....You like a stronger hybrid than the 200h? Take the new IS 300h!!!.... But i don´t like such a sedan ...for what? I like a strong, compact, sporty hybrid hatchback. Again, for the US i would add a CT sedan .... but i think i know what Lexus will close to the upcoming IS hybrid sedan. I don´t think so!!! Two completely differnet cars in my eyes. Let the people deside....
  • Y
  • May 4, 2012
Add a supercharger option to the GS350 F-Sport. The GS chassis is so capable, it is dying for even more powerful engine options. And not too many of us can afford a full-fledged GS-F....
hello Andrew, im also South African. first off, lexus dont need no turbo or supercharger. toyota can very easly make an N/A very powerful engine. turbo or supercharger is a cheaper way & lexus is not a cheap brand. what lexus needs do this point foward is move and think fast. often i notice toyota is too slow to respond. something should have already been done to the CT before people get bored with it, once the customer get bored, it is very hard to get them excited again 
  • F
  • May 4, 2012
Thanks Andrew for taking control of this project. We want the Lexus brand to grow, and as enthusiasts, we want Lexus to stand out. We need more engaging cars and more focus on "F" and "F-Sport". With that being said, Lexus should have a prominence in motorsports. With cars like LFA and IS F, it's a shame there are no other factory backed Lexus cars other than the Gazoo Racing LFA and IS F that is only seen at the Nurburgring or in autoshows in Japan. Lexus needs a presence in F1, or some kind of touring car championship. Without presence in these avenues, IS F, LFA or F-Sport in general cannot be taken seriously amongst its respective competitors. Bring the GS F, LS F, a reborn SC, SC F and so on!
@adrew talkig of smaller capaciity engines. the 1.6 valvematic engine fitted in the corolla and auris would make a very good base models for the IS and CT. this engine is also fitted in the lotus ellise, it launches the ellise 0:60 in 6seconds. it obviously not a slow engine. it as powerful as a 1.8 and very light on fuel.
  • M
  • May 5, 2012
Hi Andrew, regards from South Africa! Marius Claassen The Lexus brand is very special and we need to further build upon the unique ownership experience Lexus already offers. We are awaiting New GS launch during May in South Africa, very excited and if new GS is what to expect for things to come I think Lexus is on the right track. I believe IS and GS coupe's would add a lot of executive sportiness and flair to Lexus together with an exciting looking new SC. The F-sport brand should also be promoted well. All these will be strong brand builders! Superior driving and roadholding dynamics are key for future models and after reading various road tests on new GS Lexus seems to be spot on. Akio Toyoda's close involvement gives a lot of confidence going forward. We need more petrol heads in the industry who understand, and are passionate about, cars.
  • A
  • May 6, 2012
I believe Lexus ought to bring out more diesel engine options in Europe for the CT, IS, GS, RX.
Wow I am speechless and proud to hear such fantastic news,firstly just want to congratulate you Andrew on this new project and your New position well done mate.Secondaly as a South African myself and huge Lexus I see a bright future for Lexus globally and locally. I personally think Lexus is on the right path from a driver focused point of view. The vision shared by the President of TMC is outstanding for us as end users. Engine spec and design is what I am hear to talk about , CTh -F sport should have more power like 2.4 litre 170kw , 320 N.m of torque but still maintain its fuel effeictiency it can than be consider a "hybrid hot hatch" triple H especially with its high price tag in SA.
  • C
  • June 27, 2013
My husband says it us the most beautiful car ever! 'Wow what a car!!'