A reshuffle in the uppermost ranks of Lexus could see the Japanese luxury brand further energize its recent focus on design. Tokuo Fukuichi, Toyota's global design boss, is the new head of Lexus International.
Fukuichi will retain his role as the overall head of design for Toyota, Lexus and Scion, and will assume his new position at the head of Lexus and on its board on April 1 (no fooling). This is going to be an interesting move for fans of design to watch, as Fukuichi has repeatedly been mentioned as a designer that enjoys pushing the envelope and experimenting. He is, after all, the man responsible for designing the most awesomely odd minivan of the 1990s, the mid-engined, rear-drive Toyota Previa, and more recently, he signed off on the controversial Lexus LF-NX concept, which is said to presage a new production small crossover.

"Regarding changes in design, no one has 100 percent confidence," Fukuichi told Forbes back in January 2013. "No one can really say with pure certainty that, 'In two years, this will sell well.'" As Akio Toyoda continues to demand more assertive, edgier designs, it's that point of view that should make Fukuichi a valuable addition to Lexus, as it continues to challenge the competition from Germany.

Fukuichi replaces Kiotaka Ise, who will become the chief officer at Toyota Research and Development, according to Automotive News.


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  • 16 Comments
      Mchicha
      • 10 Months Ago
      Well, if this guy is coming from Inside Toyota, I hope he has the sense to go outside Toyota and hire new talent to the brand, insiders have nothing going for them
      rsxvue
      • 10 Months Ago
      Seems like they're taking out an R&D guy and replacing him with a design guy? Not sure if I like that idea or not.
      James John
      • 10 Months Ago
      does he have a cleft lip? All their cars now do.
      CarCrazy24
      • 10 Months Ago
      Besides the NX concept, Lexus has been on an absolute roll. I love all the cars since the new GS, and they are some of the best driving cars in their class with beautiful interiors to match. The new RC will probably end up on my driveway. This is such a stark contrast from 5-10 years ago when Lexus really was the most boring/bland of manufacturers. Hopefully this man can keep the flow of aggressive/interesting cars coming.
      DKY
      • 10 Months Ago
      If this guy had anything to do with the horrendous Lexus grill they're pushing on every car, then god help him. You can't tell how well a car will sell 2 years down the line? You should be able to know how NOT well a car will sell with that awful grill.
      Steve
      • 10 Months Ago
      so this is the guy behind all the non-exciting designs
      Muttons
      • 10 Months Ago
      The LF-NX is the worst thing to come out of a major automotive design studio since the Aztec. And the Aztec was benign. It was ugly but harmless. This looks ugly and angry about it. It wants to hurt me.
      Phil B
      • 10 Months Ago
      Well, I guess it can't get much worse than the "Batman as envisioned by octogenarians" look they have now...
      ta.ave
      • 10 Months Ago
      If you were to line up all current sedans, you would notice that a high percentage of grilles are hideous. Yet, everybody keeps hating on Lexus for some reason. What about Acura, Lincoln, Ford, Mazda, VW; how are those any better?
        Legend
        • 10 Months Ago
        @ta.ave
        Probably because the Lexus is so bold. Addressing your examples: Acura beak is awful on every vehicle except the MDX. Lincoln I'll admit is absolutely awful; the nose just looks so awkward. Ford is a copycat, what more is there to say? Mazda works with the rest of the design language; the grill itself probably wouldn't work on any other cars, except maybe Infiniti. VW is just plain bland.
      MistyGreen
      • 10 Months Ago
      I think you mean "push the envelope", not push the edge of the envelope. Not sure what that would mean.
      Man of men!
      • 10 Months Ago
      Better start fixing the front end grill! Wow - it beyond "ugly". The only one that wants this look is an alien Predator!
      jay.ai
      • 10 Months Ago
      He is wearing a horrendous tie and that worries me whether he can design a sophisticated car...
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