Tokuo Fukuichi is the new chief branding officer playing this game of catch up
Lexus as a standalone brand is now nearly 30 years old (28 to be precise), but in these nearly three decades it hasn’t quite reached the level of appeal to rival that of the German establishment. However, plans are to not stagnate in this respect, and now the company has appointed its former CEO, Tokuo Fukuichi, as chief branding officer, the man spearheading the new offensive.
According to Automotive News, the firm aims to broaden its product spectrum with sexy coupe models, as well as luxury yachts and skyjets (personal spaceships).
It’s already shown the Sport Yacht this January, a sexy all-carbon fiber vessel with a twin-turbo version of the five-liter V8 engine out of the RC-F. Such a vessel is definitely an image booster for the brand, especially since it’s already been made.
While the yacht is already here, the skyjet is still some years away – they did make a mockup of one could be like, and you’ll be able to see that in the upcoming movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” a title whose action takes place some seven centuries in the future.
Fukuichi said “Lexus' strengths such as quality and service can't be fully appreciated unless you're in the car driving. Better quality isn't that necessary. Better brand power is.” He goes on to add “After you purchase a Lexus, your whole lifestyle changes. The people you meet and circulate with change. That means with just one car, your total life image will change."
He also wants to further differentiate Toyota and Lexus brands, and make the latter feel more bespoke. Another move planned for the future will be to cease to have models branded both as Lexus and Toyota, as was the case with some models which bore the Lexus badge outside of Japan, but were sold as Toyota domestically.
In this regard, he highlighted the fact that he wants to “clearly define Lexus and wait and decide that some things can only be Lexus and not applied to Toyota. I would like to clarify that sort of distinction."