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Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit Paperback – 5 Apr 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Revised edition edition (5 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470828048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470828045
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 788,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

In 1989 German brands BMW and Mercedes–Benz dominated the luxury car market. Overnight, their world was changed by the launch of a brand new vehicle. The maverick newcomer was quicker, quieter, more economical and a full US$30,000 cheaper than its rivals. That car, the Lexus LS 400, sent shockwaves throughout the world’s automotive industry. It was Toyota Motor Corporation’s first foray into the global luxury market. Within two years of its introduction, Lexus overtook Mercedes–Benz for the crown of best–selling luxury import brand in the U.S. and had clinched top place in J.D. Power & Associates influential ratings for quality and service.

This revised edition of Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit includes a new Foreword by legendary designer Erwin Lui, an Afterword with updated material and a Coda by leading Japanese auto journalist Hisao Inoue. Plus:

  • Find out what drove the Lexus brand’s success: the how’s and why’s of its reputation for top–notch quality, those unforgettable advertising campaigns and bespoke customer service
  • Get the inside story on the growing pains of Toyota Motor’s luxury division, its vehicle development plans and the lawsuits that almost derailed the brand
  • Discover how Lexus stumbled into its most successful line of vehicles: the luxury SUVs typified by the RX series
  • Understand the boardroom intrigue as Toyota―and the Lexus brand―survived constant leadership change in Japan and U.S.
  • Take a virtual tour of Toyota Motor’s crown jewel factories
  • Delve into the race track triumph―and tragedy―behind the new $375,000 Lexus LFA “Supercar.”

This book is essential reading for automotive and business professionals.

From the Back Cover

20 Years of Defining Perfection

The author takes us on a breathtaking "genchi–genbutu" (meaning "go and see") as if we are in Toyota City. A must–read for a car nut.
Shin Sano
CEO, Sano Research
Assistant Research Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology′s Institute of Design

With his strong focus on the personalities behind the brand, Chester Dawson has crafted a compelling insider look at Lexus and its whirlwind history, from the company′s risky beginnings and earliest setbacks to the current challenges it faces as the number one luxury car manufacturer in the United States. Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit is an essential read that I would recommend to both Lexus enthusiasts and anyone else looking for real insight into one of the world′s most successful business stories.
Kevin R.E. Watts
Editor, The Lexus Enthusiast

Praise for the Hard Cover Edition

Toyota is the best car company in the world. From a truck–maker in World War II to a carmaker in the 1950s to a Lexus maker in the 1980s, it excels everywhere. Chester Dawson is a Japanese–speaking investigative reporter who has got the inside story of Lexus and made it come alive.
Ezra F. Vogel
Henry Ford II Research Professor of the Social Sciences, Emeritus
Harvard University

Chester Dawson brings to life the story of Lexus. This is a tale of invention, consumer insight, dedication and resolve. Dawson tells the story with drama, vision and insider detail. He unlocks the keys to how Toyota took a vague idea and turned it into a flagship brand and a new automotive icon.
Michael Silverstein
Senior Vice President, The Boston Consulting Group

While Detroit is still trying to figure out how Toyota made Lexus the best–selling luxury brand in the United States, Chester Dawson has dissected the Lexus story in an enlightening way. Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit brings to life the personalities who brought about an automotive phenomenon. This is a must–read not only for car buffs, but for any manager or executive who wants to understand how to create, sustain and expand an elite brand.
Micheline Maynard
Author of The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a book of how to build up a brand, and a basic account of how Toyota went about it in the case of Lexus, it is reasonable. It appears that a good number of management interviews were carried out and one can more or less identify with the conclusions posted. A fairly comprehensive description of all the facets of the undertaking - product design, corporate restructuring, production decisions, and finally the sales organisation, marketing and branding approaches - is provided. So a manager looking for a case study how to surmount the challenge of successfully launching a new luxury brand in their field will find much here.

On the other hand the book falls far short of the demands of anyone even mildly enthusiastic about cars. The author clearly does not possess much knowledge of the field as some comparisons and truly fundamental errors in understanding show throughout. Nissan being the only brand producing a sportscar in Japan up until the late 80s, being only a memorable one of the many similar examples.

So looking at it as a journal of how to create a luxury brand, it's OK, looking at it as an enlightening piece of writing about the automotive industry and it's specific challenges through the eyes of a new car brand launch, it is very sub par.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great manufacturing love story in which Toyota, an automaker clearly in love with its product, decides to go after the U.S. luxury car buyer, a suitor who has repeatedly ignored its advances. To get America's attention, Toyota must first re-invent itself. It must make itself more handsome (through better styling), improve its physique (be faster, stronger and need less maintenance) and prove its financial management skill (by selling great cars for less). Because time is fleeting and the buyer has many other suitors (Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Nissan, Volvo), Toyota must work fast before its intended lover makes an irrevocable decision and buys someone else's car. Like some other love stories, this is repetitive and suffers from some plain old sloppy editing. But it makes you want to test-drive a Lexus to see what causes such a sensation. We recommend this book to CEOs and sales and marketing executives who dream of producing revolutionary, successful products for the global marketplace. And who would mind getting a little consumer love?
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Format: Hardcover
Very interesting (yes i own one and bloody love it, although they could have done some engine versions...)
Book needed some more facts and figures for comparison and also some further investigation into why there is such a disparancy between US and European standings....but guess that is what you`ll have to argue about in your assignment...That`s what i did!!!!!!!!
good read, well done.
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By Q on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding book well penned and detailed as one would expect
A model of how to do business
I can recommend this to all managers
Q
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful ! 23 Feb. 2005
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great manufacturing love story in which Toyota, an automaker clearly in love with its product, decides to go after the U.S. luxury car buyer, a suitor who has repeatedly ignored its advances. To get America's attention, Toyota must first re-invent itself. It must make itself more handsome (through better styling), improve its physique (be faster, stronger and need less maintenance) and prove its financial management skill (by selling great cars for less). Because time is fleeting and the buyer has many other suitors (Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Nissan, Volvo), Toyota must work fast before its intended lover makes an irrevocable decision and buys someone else's car. Like some other love stories, this is repetitive and suffers from some plain old sloppy editing. But it makes you want to test-drive a Lexus to see what causes such a sensation. We recommend this book to CEOs and sales and marketing executives who dream of producing revolutionary, successful products for the global marketplace. And who would mind getting a little consumer love?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 9 May 2010
By GSX1390R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anyone interested Lexus or how to run a quality business.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The live the motto 7 Jun. 2012
By Fergus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting, if long, read about a fascinating company.
The pace varies between boring detail and that which is intriguing. Worth a read for anyone looking to improve an industry or an interest in cars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great. 26 Aug. 2008
By GP The Engineer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While an amazing task to create a new car make from the ground up, it was a stark contrast to see how close it came to not happening at all. A chief Engineer who sounds like a slavedriver, USA based staff being shot down at every turn.

Only downside to the book is that i found it put a gloss of perfection on the make, though even the author had to note the struggles once MB and BMW caught back up in terms of price and technology. Lexus makes one heck of a fine product, but they didn't go an invent a flying car or anything.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real life in Toyota 5 Feb. 2008
By Andrea Pinnola - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book accounts for the actual life of the Lexus Brand and Lexus projects, since the beginning with the strong leadership of one of the best Toyota Chief Engineer to the up and downs in the market. If you are a Toyota fan you will discover that also Toyota can fail; the difference is in how Toyota learn by its own failures and comes back.
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