According to "Japan Headline,""Tokyo Business,""Tokyo Today" and other Japanese media reports, a screenshot of an email titled "Toyota (China) subsidiary Lexus deputy general manager Chen Chen bribery evidence" flowed out online. In the more than 2000-word e-mail, the whistleblower recorded Chen Chen's bribery behavior in detail over the past three years, including all relevant personnel and capital transactions, totaling about 1 billion yen (about 50 million yuan).
According to the data, Chen Chen was born in March 1982. After graduating from Beijing University of Technology, he went to Britain to study engineering and business management at Warwick University. After returning home, Chen Chen chose to enter the automobile industry and aimed at Lexus, a luxury brand. In 2013, Chen Chen began to appear in public view, communicating with the media as the head of Lexus China Sales Department. In 2017, Chen Chen served as the head of Lexus China Marketing Department, responsible for Lexus promotion and public relations communication in China. Two years later, Chen Chen was promoted to vice president of Lexus China, responsible for marketing and product strategy planning, and he became Toyota China's fastest and youngest Chinese executive.
The e-mail accused Chen of taking advantage of his position to receive commercial bribes through the bank accounts of close associates for years. The allegations are particularly detailed, covering specific information about each bribing bank account and accompanied by evidence such as bank records of Chen Chen and those involved. Japanese media reports pointed out that the details of the content of the email almost confirmed the facts of the report.
There are several issues worthy of scrutiny in the content of the report letter:
1. Does Chen Chen, deputy general manager of Lexus, have huge bribery behavior? Japanese media reports pointed out that the details of the email content almost confirmed the existence of the reported facts, the key is "almost", that is, infinitely close to the facts but not necessarily the facts, then further official response is needed to confirm the authenticity of the reported incident.
2. The crime of occupation by non-state public officials belongs to private prosecution cases, that is to say, the state will not actively intervene in this case, and investigation and evidence collection will be conducted only after Lexus China formally responds. Therefore, if the allegation is true, relevant law enforcement authorities may move forward with the investigation, but it also depends on whether Lexus China will report the case. As for why he chose to report it in Japan, perhaps that is also why.
Lexus is a luxury brand owned by Toyota, founded in 1983. In March 2005, the third generation Lexus GS430 and GS300 sedans were officially launched in China, which means that Lexus brand officially entered China for sale. Since entering the Chinese market, relying on luxury brand endorsement and imported brand aura, Lexus has been able to increase its sales volume in China for a time, but its sales volume has been able to grow steadily, reaching an all-time peak in 2021, with a cumulative sales volume of 227,000 vehicles in China throughout the year. Lexus sold 176,000 vehicles in China in 2022, down 22% year-on-year, the first decline since Lexus entered the Chinese market.
After entering 2023, Lexus 'performance in China has not improved. According to the data of the Association, the cumulative sales volume of Lexus brand in the first five months of 2023 was 54,000 vehicles, down 24% year-on-year, making it the only imported brand in the TOP 5 list to decline, among which the sales volume in May was 14,000 vehicles, down 1% year-on-year.
During the year, Lexus has released a number of new cars, including a new generation RX, a new generation GX, TX, a new generation LM and a new RZ, among which RZ is Lexus 'first pure tram model based on e-TNGA architecture, priced at 369,900 - 459,900 yuan.
Lexus, which once increased prices crazily and was difficult to find a car, will become more and more difficult in the high-end road of Chinese market under the double attack of self-owned brand high-end and new energy transformation. Although many imported car brands have accelerated the electric transformation, but "elephant" turn is not easy, imported car brands in the electric transformation of the pressure is not small, the key is time to test.
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