"The Birth of Lexus: Toyota's Innovation and Challenge" – Special Lecture by Mr. Yoshio Ishizaka, Former Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation
This lecture was included in the "Doing Business in Japan" course at Bremen University of Applied Sciences, currently taught by Professor Ueno from the School of Information and Management as a part-time lecturer. The University has established an exchange agreement with the Bremen University of Applied and Science, encompassing both student and faculty exchanges. This special session attracted not only students enrolled in the course but also those from the University of Shizuoka who accepted the open invitation, as well as members of Professor Ueno's research lab.
Developed in the 1980s and launched in the American market in 1989, Lexus has now established its status as a luxury car brand. Mr. Ishizaka played a pivotal role in the creation and development of the Lexus brand in the United States.
During the lecture, Mr. Ishizaka detailed how Toyota, considering the American market environment of the 1980s, built the Lexus brand and entered the American luxury car market. The success of the Lexus brand was emphasized as being rooted in Toyota USA commitment to vehicle quality, market analysis, and a deep understanding of customer needs. It was specifically highlighted how Toyota USA adopted an independent strategy from Toyota Motor Corporation’s lineup to establish the Lexus brand.
Lexus is not just a luxury car but embodies Toyota's philosophy of providing the highest value to customers, including after-sales service.
After the lecture, students asked about Mr. Ishizaka's key considerations as the president of Toyota USA. He re-emphasized the importance of listening to employees and the market's voice as a leader. The lecture provided a valuable opportunity for active discussions and to find commonalities in manufacturing between Japan and Germany.
This lecture was supported by Wide Europe Research Center, Graduate School of International Relations, University of Shizuoka, and the Outlook Foundation.
Lecture scene on the Japanese side
Scene from online lecture (explanation about Lexus Logo)
Scene from online lecture (explanation about decision making meeting on whether to manufacture Lexus)
Scene from online lecture (explanation about Lexus reputation)