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Toyota Design Chief Promoted to Head of Lexus

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/26/2014 Christian Seabaugh

In case you weren't aware, Toyota's been putting a big emphasis on design as of late. Look no further than some of its latest concepts for proof -- the Toyota FT-1 and Lexus LF-NX concepts are nothing if not design exercises for the Japanese automaker. Toyota this morning is putting credence behind its promise of more "emotional surprises," promoting global design chief Tokuo Fukuichi to the president of Lexus International.

Fukuichi, the man who helped push to realize CEO Akio Toyoda's vision of edgy Toyota design concepts, is the first designer to ever be appointed head of Lexus' global operations, Automotive News reports. Fukuichi will oversee Lexus' growth in the U.S., as well as its expansion in markets like China and Brazil, as it looks to retake the luxury sales crown from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

2015 Lexus RC F© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Lexus RC F Toyota Design Chief Promoted to Head of Lexus

In addition to his role as head of Lexus International, Fukuichi will continue to be the chief designer for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion. Fukuichi also inherits a position on Toyota's board from the departing Lexus International president.

Lexus' current president, Kiyotaka Ise, will leave the board and Lexus, and leverage his engineering experience as the head of Toyota's research and development group. Fukuichi's first day as head of Lexus is April 1.

Source: Toyota, Automotive News (subscription required)

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