It's becoming more and more clear that Akio Toyoda is serious about improving the image of Lexus. We mean the word image quite literally here, as the head of Toyota has just promoted design chief Tokuo Fukuichi into the position of President of International Operations for Lexus. Toyoda made the move to help combat criticism from the last few years (decades?) that Toyota products are pretty bland when it comes to styling, including those of Lexus.
This move puts a designer in charge of a brand that is already on the right path. The current crop of Lexus vehicles feature bold styling that, while polarizing, has people talking and all the discussion points have nothing to do with the word "boring". Additionally, Akio is looking to reach back into a bit of Toyota's history by returning proper sports cars to the marketplace.
With the launch of the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S, the stage is set for even more aggressive and exciting sporting machines. Recently, Toyota unveiled it's FT-1 concept car, which has enthusiast tongues wagging at the thought of a Supra revival. The sprightly F Sport models in the Lexus lineup are engaging to drive, and seem to enjoy being flung around a canyon road or even a race track.
Akio Toyoda seems set on keeping Toyota brands moving forward but doing so through a lineup that is as engaging as it is well made.