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President Fujio Cho by TCC Team (2/6/2005)
anything slow Toyota down?
Toyota Looking Bullish on Growth by Joseph
Though recent profits are only modest, Toyota readies for
a period of serious growth.
Lexus Eyes Performance Crowd by TCC Team (2/6/2005)
Toyota’s luxury division ponders how to best add more
Every so often, a car comes along that revolutionizes the concept of luxury:
the tailfinned, ’59 Cadillac Eldorado, the sporty BMW 3-Series and the lavish
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, to name just a few.
Fifteen years ago, a new player entered the luxury market, and Lexus didn’t
play by the traditional rules. Its original LS400 was unexpectedly affordable,
surprisingly well equipped and uncannily quiet. It may have been, as critics
contended, plain vanilla, but the sedan made a quick connection with
increasingly affluent Baby Boomers raised on Japanese imports.
These days, Lexus is the U.S.market’s
luxury segment leader, something of a surprise, actually, when you consider that
the automaker has had a dearth of new products in recent years. It hasn’t
introduced a new passenger car since 2001, nor a light truck since 2003. In
today’s hotly competitive market, that’s a potentially serious disadvantage, but
one that Toyota’s highline marque is determined to address.
The coming months will see a flood of new vehicles, including the world’s
first luxury hybrid, a version of the brand’s popular crossover/ute dubbed the
RX400h. An updated IS sedan is in final development, Lexus intent on tackling
the segment long dominated by the BMW 3-Series.