Fleet News

Lexus-only branding goes one step further

LEXUS has banned retailers' names from its new chain of stand-alone dealerships in an attempt to strengthen its brand image against the likes of BMW and Mercedes. Stuart McCullough, who was promoted from sales operations director at Lexus to its general manager in April, says he wants both corporate and retail customers to focus solely on the Lexus brand name at dealerships.

This comes as Lexus continues to open stand-alone dealerships around the country, breaking away from its former links with Toyota. By the end of next year the Japanese manufacturer plans to have opened 55 independent dealers, all of which will only carry the Lexus name. McCullough said: 'We are competing against manufacturers like BMW and Jaguar, each with a long heritage, and so we have to establish our brand quickly and decisively. This means a strong brand name and exceeding the retail experience offered by other car makers.'

And in a first for Toyota, dealers are being offered commercial mortgages of up to 80% of the redevelopment costs to bring all of the sites in line with the new image. By the end of this year 15 UK dealers will be operating from the new elipse-shaped buildings, a 'mock-up' of which was recently unveiled in the reception of Toyota's European headquarters in Brussels.

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