Posted by Dale Buss on April 24, 2013 11:42 AM
It's one thing for Lexus to become a more American brand by building vehicles here, which has been announced in recent days, but a bigger challenge might be recasting the Toyota-owned luxury brand as an aspirational marque for younger consumers.
That is Lexus's goal, and it's in the midst of rolling out a number of initiatives to attempt to achieve that.
The brand plans a rollout of a new global marketing campaign in May under the fresh tagline, "Amazing in Motion." It is emphasizing mold-breaking exterior design for the first time in Lexus history, especially through the introduction of a so-called spindle hourglass-shaped grille. And it is even taking a page from a brand as far afield as GQ, by opening a new series of Intersect by Lexus meeting places in Tokyo, Dubai and New York starting this summer.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2013 03:24 PM
Putting a few bad years behind it, Toyota is now pivoting to create a more formidable global company to battle General Motors and Volkswagen for the pinnacle of the worldwide automotive industry over the next several years.
Chief Akio Toyoda has overhauled his top management for the second straight year, strengthening his control over the company founded by his great-grandfather. The most significant hallmark of this wave of change is that Toyoda has greatly fortified the influence that Americans will have on the company and its brands, including recruitment of a former General Motors executive to the Toyota board and the promotion of some U.S.-based Toyota veterans to greater responsibilities for the whole company.
The changes will ensure that Toyota's accelerating tilt toward the U.S. market—particularly in light of the challenges in its home market and Europe—will continue. Already the company has indicated that it plans greater investment in U.S. production for the North American vehicle market and beyond.
Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2012 06:33 PM
Just in time to further boost Toyota's comeback in the U.S. market, the Toyota brand has come up with a new tagline — "Let's Go Places" — that it's promoting starting today on its website and other messaging.
As an exercise in gauging the wisdom of switching to a new advertising slogan, quick — what has Toyota's tagline been lately? Of course, this lack of memorability of its marketing message is one big reason for Toyota's new move. It's been "Moving Forward" since 2004.
Another reason is that the automaker wanted to reflect what it called, in a statement, its "commitment to more exciting products." Over the last several years, a paucity of new sheetmetal, and the relative lack of excitement created by the new products Toyota did introduce, have been as responsible for the brand's swoon in the U.S. market as its 2010 troubles with recalls and its problems last year as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 10, 2012 05:03 PM
The future of the auto industry is made of BRICS, so global manufacturers increasingly are getting serious about making and selling their vehicles all over the developing world.
And some are defining BRICS — as in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, which have been "acronymed" into a sort of representation of promising, emergent national markets — more broadly, to include Africa and Southeast Asian nations.
Frustrated by the slow-growing domestic economy, a strong yen, and a problematic North American market, for example, Toyota has decided to build an engine factory in Brazil to cater to increasing demand in the world's fourth-largest auto market, as noted by Automotive News Europe (and Japan's NHK, above). General Motors and Ford have been players in Brazil for many years, and now increasingly Toyota and Nissan are expanding there.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 13, 2012 05:05 PM
The archives of brand marketing crawl with attempts by CEOs to use themselves and their personas as the instrument of redemption for the brand. Look under "Steve Jobs and Apple," for instance, or "Lee Iacocca and Chrysler."
But what Akio Toyoda is attempting to do in this regard at the company his grandfather founded, Toyota Motor, may be even more remarkable than the notably successful efforts by Jobs and Iacocca. That's because he is doing it in a racing suit, in really fast cars, on real race tracks. Toyoda, CEO since 2009, has literally become the face of the passion that his company wants consumers to feel when they consider its cars.
"I see myself as a bridge who can talk to both racing pros and average car owners," the 56-year-old chief told reporters at a news conference earlier this year, according to a profile published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2010 12:04 PM
Can Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, bow low enough to restore public confidence in his family’s brand?
Federal safety regulators in Washington are investigating whether Toyota acted quickly enough in recalling millions of vehicles with defective accelerator pedals. The law requires manufacturers to give notice within five days of identifying a defect and to begin a prompt recall. If it’s determined Toyota waited too long, the automaker could be fined up to $16.4 million - the maximum allowed by the law.
President Toyoda admitted an overzealous pursuit of growth caused Toyota to lose sight of its commitment to quality, but maintains that his company never intentionally misled or hid information from authorities. “We so aggressively pursued numbers that we were unable to keep up with training staff to oversee quality,” he said. “We were also somewhat slow in collecting, analyzing and acting on complaints we received from our drivers,” he added.Continue reading...