?MARKETING IN ACTION? REAL CHOICES AT LEXUS
In 1983 at a top-secret meeting, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda suggested that the time was right for Toyota to introduce a true luxury automobile that would challenge the best luxury vehicles in the world. A 6-year old development process followed that involved 60 designers and 450 prototypes at a cost of over $1 billion. In 1989 the Lexus was launched. In 1999, Lexus sold its millionth car in the United States and within a little over a decade, Lexus became America?s best selling line of luxury vehicles. Following its success in the United States, Toyota introduced the Lexus in markets outside America, and today the luxury cars are available in over 40 different countries. Since its introduction, the Lexus has repeatedly won top awards and accolades for customer satisfaction, dependability, appeal, design, and engineering from the Motoring Press Association, J.D. Power & Associates studies, The Robb Report, Popular Science, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile Magazine, and Motor Trend.
Such attention to providing the best for luxury car owners has led to Lexus? latest innovation (2007): the Advanced Parking Guidance System. Most consumers find parallel parking a real pain, or worse, they simply avoid parallel parking spaces all together. Enter the 2007 Lexus LS 460 sedan. The car actually park itself?or almost.
Before this launch in 2007, the question many observers asked is whether the parking capability of the Lexus is truly a benefit that luxury car owners will want to use, or is it just a gimmick? And, were customers really asking for this feature? Some argue that the Lexus automatic parking capability isn?t really useful and that Lexus should have waited to introduce the feature after the company had worked out all the kinks in the system. Did Lexus step away from the focus on customer needs and if so, what should the company have done?
What was the decision facing Lexus?What factors are important in understanding this decision situation?What are the alternatives?What decisions do you recommend?
If Lexus is planning to introduce new technology in a 2016 car, where should they promote it and explain it to reach the right audience?
(Answers need to be handed in at class on 12/1. 2 pages MAX, double spaced)
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Oct 14, 2020EXPERT
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