NEW YORK -- Ed Laukes, who took over as head of Toyota Division marketing in April, says the brand's move in a more emotional direction opens the door for edgier advertising.
Laukes said coming campaigns, including those for the sculpted C-HR crossover and for the 2018 Camry with its normal and sport versions, will retain the brand's traditional values of "QDR" -- quality, dependability and reliability -- but will focus more on styling and performance.
Laukes spoke with Staff Reporter Laurence Iliff last month on the sidelines of the New York auto show.
Q: How does Toyota President Akio Toyoda's directive to make more exciting vehicles change the way they are marketed?
A: My interpretation of Akio's message is that he doesn't want a car to turn into an appliance. He doesn't want it to be a toaster. He wants it to be what you and I grew up with. He wants it to be still exciting, emotional when you get behind the wheel. Your blood pressure goes up and your heart's pounding and you're excited to be driving.
You can see how aggressively C-HR is styled and how it's designed for younger millennials, and it's more of an urban vehicle.
And when Camry shows up, it will be two separate cars: Camry LE will be the quasi-luxury vehicle and then the XSE, when that shows up, that's the one that will be geared after the race car. We're a very conservative brand, but I think what this changes is the emotion.