As part of Toyota Motor Corp. attempts to restore its reputation for quality after the record recalls the past year, President Akio Toyoda has opened the order books for the Lexus LFA $375,000 supercar. He also revealed that the company will soon release an "affordable" rear-wheel drive coupe as well as a sporty version of the Prius.
Typically, Toyota customers choose the brand, in particular the Prius hybrid, for its unmatched fuel efficiency. However, Toyoda, who is an avid racing fan, wants to add more fun to its vehicles.
Would you prefer a Toyota high-end sports car over Fiat S.p.A.'s Maserati, Ferrari marques, or Volkswagen AG's Lamborghini? Toyoda, who became president in June 2009, is hopeful that those who are considering buying a new sportscar will take the time to examine the Lexus LFA supercar.
Ashvin Chotai, London-based managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia Ltd., an industry consultant, said that cars such as the LFA are "brand-builders" and the focus isn't so much about the volume but "more about excitement.'
A new Sports Vehicle Management Division that was established in January is actually managing these projects. In a company statement, Toyota said that this unit expands a similar group that Toyoda organized in 2007 and seeks to "reinforce sports vehicle product planning."