Lexus RX 300
Before launching the Lexus RX 300, Steve Sturm asked consumers what they wanted in a compact luxury sport-utility. In response, he promised versatility and luxury at a value price.
In March 1998, the $30,000-plus RX 300 was introduced with unit sales predicted to run into the low 30,000s. Lexus sold more than 42,000 units for that year.
In 1999, Lexus expects to sell up to 70,000 vehicles. The RX 300 is now the best-selling Lexus model.
'We had to position ourselves uniquely,' said Sturm, who was corporate marketing manager during the vehicle's launch before being named vice president of marketing for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., last April. He did it with a campaign featuring the tag 'Like no other vehicle on earth,' from Team One in El Segundo, Calif.
Initial TV spots, which broke dur-ing the 1998 Win-ter Olympics, em-phasized the vehicle's innovation.
'We've always been known as a high-quality fran-chise, and now we've brought in a new level of customer to the showroom.'