Toyota's Design Chief Heads to Lexus after Executive Shuffle

By | February 26, 2014
Toyota Motor Corp. has gone through a recent management shuffle, and with design playing a major role in the future of the company, Tokuo Fukuichi, the company's global design chief, has just been appointed president of Lexus International. Fukuichi will keep his current role as head of the global design group in addition to the new title, and will also become a member of the board and assume all duties on April 1 at Toyota's luxury marque. However, his appointment to the board won't happen until June during a general shareholders meeting. This change comes in conjunction with Akio Toyoda's vision to focus on the design of the company's vehicles, and as Fukuichi likes to experiment with polarizing designs, it seems like a good match. Thanks to the new TNG platform, the new generation of Toyota vehicles will feature commonized parts that will offer a breakthrough in developing vehicles with more emotional designs. Lexus has been dethroned by Mercedes-Benz and BMW as the leader of luxury sales here in the states, but hopes to climb back to the top. According to the automaker, that climb will be difficult as its German rivals have introduced entry-level vehicles under $30,000, which Lexus has no plans of doing. Toyota's luxury brand will rely on the RC F and other new vehicles to bolster sales. The LF-NX crossover concept is still being considered for production. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)