The J Factor
Think how many times you have heard the expression 'the Rolls Royce of suitcases' or maybe 'the Porsche of baked beans'. Ok, I am stretching a bit with the suitcase analogy; but I'm sure you get my point?
I've just watched an interesting clip on the Monocle website about Japanese luxury car brand Lexus. Since its launch into North America (Lexus is an acronym of Luxury Export United States - very sexy…). Founder of Monocle magazine Tyler Brulee chats to the European man from Toyota who fronts for the Lexus brand.
His observation is that, to penetrate the European market, Lexus should stop being shy of its Japaneseness. I agree. I wonder if the admiration the world has for German Engineering is based on the savage efficiency of Germany's tools in their Blitzkreig campaigns during WW2. Not as silly as it sounds.
Though time does change perceptions. The Japanese obsession with luxury and detail, Brulee argues, poises them to shed the negative connotations of the term 'Made in Japan'.
My problem with Lexus is their design. They look, well…Japanese. A new Maserati GT on the other hand looks Italian and I'm almost willing to concede that I only partially believe that it will crumble into a very expensive pile of oxides in just a fraction less time than it takes to accelerate from 0-60 (if you can make it start).