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China's aspirational young inspire Lexus to new levels of luxury

By Hao Yan in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-24 11:42

China's aspirational young inspire Lexus to new levels of luxury

Lexus executives pose with the new Lexus NX mid-size SUV at its world premiere during the Shanghai Auto Show on April 19, 2017. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Lexus, the Japanese premium automobile brand, has launched a fresh Chinese-language version of its global slogan of Experience Amazing, together with a fleet of emotive models targeting the nation's vigorous youth.

The company announced the new slogan in Chinese as Lead the Unknown, Explore the Uncommon, along with its first step toward Hybrid Intelligence with its upgraded hybrid technology, on April 19 at the Shanghai Auto Show.

"Lexus is transforming into a lifestyle brand," said Tokuo Fukuichi, chief branding officer of Lexus International. "This allows us to connect with consumers in China and around the world in new ways and build more meaningful relationships."

He exhibited his optimistic vision of the brand's performance in the world's largest auto market by saying he believed in the brand's unique appeal through design, technique, innovation and quality, which will fuel substantial growth and help achieve strong results.

"China is an energetic and fast-growing market, and the new generation of luxury consumers are getting younger. We are making changes with the times," Fukuichi told China Daily.

In recent years, Chinese luxury customers have become younger, so the brand is shifting toward satisfying individual demands, self-aspiration and individuality in line with this consumption trend.

To strengthen the emotional connection, Lexus' brand slogan of Lead the Unknown, Explore the Uncommon is tailored for China's younger generations, according to the company's news release. Lexus will transform function with emotion, performance with passion and technology with imagination.

"We are hoping to target Chinese 'experiential masters', as a Lexus will be the bridge to their own lifestyle," said Tetsuya Ezumi, executive vice-president of Lexus China.

Lexus will deliver unique experiences and enable extraordinary lifestyles to touch customers' hearts, because "a car won't be just a symbol of social status or transportation anymore", Ezumi said.

"The 'experiential masters' also care about the environment and its value beyond the fuel economy," he said. "We saw the core value of the Lexus hybrid technology fitting right into that philosophy, so the brand communication starts from Hybrid Intelligence."

Lexus China's communication of the new brand image has begun and the products themselves are following on the heels of the campaign, as the evolution of the brand is inextricably linked with the new lineups of models, Ezumi added.

New Lexus NX

The new Lexus NX luxury mid-size crossover is making its global debut at Auto Shanghai 2017, and is already catching the attention of the younger Chinese generations.

As the brand's first mid-size SUV, the NX was destined for success, because it offers exactly what customers have long desired-a stylish and spacious compact with exciting driving dynamics and excellent fuel efficiency.

"We have received very positive feedback on the NX concept cars, ever since it went on show at the Guangzhou auto show in November last year," Ezumi said.

Fukuichi pointed out that the company is exploring all kinds of possibilities in each segment and field, through collecting and assessing feedback on concept cars from customers and dealers.

"We observe and do surveys at auto shows," he said. "We then finalize the concept and turn it into reality. That's what the company must do."

The NX dramatically outperformed sales forecasts in every one of its markets around the world, including North America, Europe and China.

For the 2018 model, Lexus intends to keep the proverbial wheel rolling with an updated model that the brand introduced today at the Shanghai auto show.

Lexus LS 500h

The carmaker's latest full hybrid version of its flagship sedan, the all-new Lexus LS 500h, makes its Asian debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, where it shows the Chinese public that it goes beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.

Conceived as the new global pinnacle of the Lexus brand, the model is a further manifestation of how Lexus has reimagined the luxury sedan, presenting brave design, exhilarating performance and sophisticated appeal to capture the imagination of forward-thinking, younger customers.

The car's design successfully brings together the virtues of a long-wheelbase, four-door sedan with a low, coupe-like profile, positioning the LS perfectly across both the growing sedan and coupe segments.

The LS 500h is equipped with the new Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, a technology that transforms the performance and driver appeal of hybrids. At the same time, Lexus Hybrid Drive's inherent fuel and emissions efficiency has been further improved.

The LS 500h is built on the new Lexus Global Architecture-the Luxury (GA-L) platform, which ensures a low center of gravity and optimum weight distribution, adding to the car's essential stability and handling agility. The powertrain combines a 3.5-liter V-6 Dual VVT-i petrol engine and two electric motors, together delivering a total output of 264 kilowatts.

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