TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp.’s latest marketing schemes on its home turf are being met with a mix of puzzlement and approval. Shrinking the auto maker’s five existing sales channels in Japan to four in 2004 is considered a sound move by industry experts here. However, there is no consensus on plans to introduce the Lexus brand in Japan a year later, for sale in an exclusive new channel aimed at luxury-car buyers. Toyota explains the new strategy as a "response to future changes in consumer ...

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