Blog: Dave LeggettBrand 'trust' for premiums

Dave Leggett | 30 April 2014

The Lexus LF-NX Concept shown at Tokyo. Bold?

The Lexus LF-NX Concept shown at Tokyo. Bold?

Some interesting thoughts in Beijing recently fromTokuo Fukuichi, head of Lexus, on brand trust and where Lexus is compared with the Germans. He told Nikkei: "We are often asked whether we plan to manufacture Lexus cars in China. But the question is whether our brand has earned the trust of customers. If a brand is really trusted, it can sell its products wherever they are manufactured. But Lexus has not yet achieved such a status." Candid.

It will be interesting to see where Lexus car designs head in the future. Tokuo Fukuichi comes to the top job at Lexus as former head of design at Toyota, so we can expect an emphasis on design. "Lexus has created cars that nobody really dislikes. They’re liked by everybody… but they’re not really loved." Quite. Sounds like he wants to make a splash with bolder Lexus designs. It's a fine line though. Too far and people are scared off.

He may well hear people say, 'We must go for the adventurous buyers, the affluent personalities who want to show that they are different, non-conformist, not like the conservative ones who opt for German premium...' Maybe, but I recall hearing similar stuff from two brands in particular: Cadillac in Europe and Saab. Cautionary tales, to be sure.

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