KIRK EDMONDSON was born in California on the west coast of the USA. But he describes his origins as 'bi-coastal', having spent 18 years of his youth living in New York in the east. He graduated in marketing from Colorado State University and went into the advertising industry. He worked with a number of agencies before joining Toyota's US agency, Saatchi and Saatchi in Los Angeles, in 1982. In 1987 Saatchi formed a new agency, Team One Advertising, to launch Lexus in the USA. As vice president and account supervisor Edmondson was closely involved in the 1989 launch of Lexus in the USA. Two years later he joined Toyota's Lexus division, first as manager of marketing strategy and later as national manager. Edmondson moved to Europe in August 2000.
Name: Kirk Edmondson.
Current title: Deputy general manager, Lexus Europe.
Previous job: Assistant to the president of Toyota Motor Sales USA.
Lives in: Overijse, Belgium, near Brussels.
Family: Married, two daughters ages 9 and 12.
Countries lived in: USA, Belgium.
First job in the car business: Manager of marketing strategy, Lexus division, Toyota Motor Sales USA.
First car: Honda Civic CVCC, five-speed.
What cars are in your garage?
A Lexus IS200 and a Toyota Avensis Verso.
What cars have you admired?
The Lamborghini Muira, Maserati Bird Cage, Ford GT40 and the Boss 302 - a high-performance version of the original Mustang.
What was the hardest thing about moving to Europe?
Leaving our golden retriever, Annie, behind.
What aspect of your job in Europe has been the most challenging so far?
Coordinating, aligning and creating a consistency for the Lexus brand across so many markets and sales companies. Plus learning to understand the business cultures of different nationalities.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
The successful launch of Lexus in the USA.
How do you relax?
Golf, tennis, skiing, cooking.
What do you do on planes?
Answer e-mails while listening to music on my laptop computer.
What CDs are loaded into your laptop?
Mainly classic rock: Yes, Massive Attack, Big Audio Dynamite, Sting, Wings, Stereo MCs, Seal.
What kind of books do you read?
Business books usually and novels while on holiday.
Italian, with a growing interest in Indian food.
Do you cook?
Yes, I like nothing better than being creative in the kitchen without using a recipe book.
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
La Maison du Cygnes, Brussels.
Favorite place for a holiday?
Italy and Connecticut to visit our families.
Where do you get your best ideas?
By association - I'm thinking about one thing and it suggests an idea about something else.
If you could have anything you want, what would it be?
A Lexus with a diesel engine.
Do you work weekends?
Not if I can help it.
Is there anything you dislike about your job?
The evening traffic on the commute home. It can take between 30 minutes and two hours to drive one kilometer.
Who do you admire within the auto industry?
Yoshio Ishizaka, currently vice president of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Who do you admire outside the auto industry?
People who can develop ideas that can change an industry. For example, Michael Dell or the founders of amazon.com.
How would you describe your management style?
I take time to ask questions and understand situations before I jump in with solutions. But I usually give people freedom to come up with answers to problems.
What are you good at?
Getting a good balance between the strategic and the practical, and getting to the heart of problems.
Is there anything you'd criticize about yourself?
At times I'm too patient.
What is the next big thing in the auto industry?
The way we use hybrid technology to solve environmental issues.