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.
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?
on 12 January 2005
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.