Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus announced last summer that it will transfer its global marketing command center from Japan to a new location in California.
The move has immediately generated discussions on whether the Japanese company is considering a total transfer of Lexus’ head office out of Japan and into California. The new Lexus center, which is located in Toyota Motor Sales USA’s campus in Torrance, California, will manage creative marketing and some brand communications worldwide, according to Karl Schlicht, head of Lexus global product and marketing planning division. He also said Lexus is considering moving its global headquarters outside of Japan, but nothing has been decided for sure.
Rumors of Lexus’ moving out of Japan were also fueled by the company’s executive vice president Yukitoshi Funo, who said to Automotive News that Lexus intends to remake itself as a „transnational brand” rather than a Japanese one.
Only last month, Lexus’ rival Infiniti announced it has moved its headquarters out of Japan and into Hong Kong, although engineering and manufacturing will remain in Japan. The Japanese yen, which has risen 9 percent in the past six months, is making car production increasingly difficult in Japan, as automakers’ profits from exports are deeply affected by the currency’s value.