Establishing the Lexus channel

For introducing the Lexus brand into Japan, TMC established the new Lexus Japan Sales & Marketing Division in April 2003, under the slogan "Providing customers the best hospitality with the best product, the best staff, the best stores, and the best service". In creating the sales network, TMC added two new dealers while giving all existing Toyota dealers the opportunity to participate. For the showroom design, TMC ran a contest to establish standards and developed a specialized showroom design system.

TMC also set up various services integrating IT, including a unique maintenance program and a 24/7 security service. To train the staff-who can make or break the "hospitality" aspect of Lexus service-TMC trains all staff members, including engineers, according to detailed curricula at the Fuji Lexus College established inside the Fuji Speedway.

The Lexus channel in Japan began operating with 143 dealers belonging to 109 companies in August 2005. The main mission of Lexus in Japan was to establish a premium brand in Japan and also to work with the Lexus Division in the United States to develop Lexus into a global brand. The expertise accumulated through these efforts has been put to use in introducing the Lexus all over the world.

The new product and distribution policy included the difficult decision to reduce the number of channels for Toyota brands. However, implementing this policy helped the combined Japanese market share of all Toyota brands, including Lexus, to climb above 45 percent for the first time in 2006. The reforms TMC quickly instituted in response to the structural changes taking place in the Japanese market, along with its enhanced product development, became the driving force behind Toyota's ability to maintain a large market share thereafter.

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