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The secrets of Lexus' success: How Toyota Motor went from 0-60 in the luxury car market

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Toyota Motor's image in the United States was one of a reliable, yet cheap, carmaker. If you had little money, but wanted minimal breakdowns with the vehicle that you drove to work every day, you bought a Toyota. Thanks to the introduction of the automaker's Lexus line in the 1990s, that image has now changed. The Lexus brand is now synonymous with the world of luxury, even though car enthusiasts and purists would argue that Lexus is more of a middle-market luxury car line. However, Lexus sales surpassed Mercedes Benz and Cadillac sales-the two granddaddies of luxury cars-in the United States quite easily, thanks to Toyota's brilliant and methodical marketing strategy. The firm's philosophy of conducting meticulous research over much time and money has been widely admired and studied by other automakers and college students alike and has cemented Toyota's position as one of the most successful carmakers in the world. For a firm that entered the luxury car market late in the game, how did Toyota jump over its competition? What was the difference in strategy between its domestic rivals Honda and Nissan and its U.S. competitors, like Ford and General Motors? To answer these questions, the Center on Japanese Economy and Business of Columbia Business School invited Chester Dawson, editor at Business Week magazine and author of a new book, Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit to speak on September 22.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Publisher
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School
Published Here
June 15, 2011
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