Lexus Wikicars

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Lexus is the luxury automobile division of Toyota Motor Corporation. The Lexus brand name represents a premium line of luxury vehicles, first begun in 1989 with the debut of the LS 400 flagship sedan and the ES 250 executive sedan. Lexus cars and SUVs are sold in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania; in the United States, Lexus is the top selling brand of luxury cars.

Until 2005, Lexus vehicles were sold under the Toyota marque in Japan until its introduction there that year.

The Lexus line of luxury vehicles was started in 1989 to compete with other luxury makes, including German firms Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi; Cadillac and Lincoln in the U.S. and Honda’s Acura division. Before the first Lexus sedan premiered at the 1989 Detroit Motor Show, Toyota engineers spent five years in secret development, costing billions of dollars and involving over 150 prototypes built for a testing process unprecedented in Toyota’s 50-year history. The crowning result was the LS 400 flagship sedan, a vehicle which was more aerodynamic, more quiet, and more efficient than its rivals.

To the customers that bought them, the LS 400 was regarded as a better value than its higher-priced competition,Lexus LS Generations and within two years Lexus had become the top-selling luxury import in the U.S.

Since its successful introduction, Lexus has developed a reputation for quality and customer service. In the U.S. the brand continually ranks at the top of owner satisfaction and reliability surveys. Today, over 16 years since the company’s debut, many LS 400 sedans continue operating capably for their owners, a testament to the engineering expertise that went into the Lexus flagship model.

In recent years, Lexus’ sales have been propelled by a successive series of popular designs. In 2006, the Lexus line had three of the top 10 best-selling luxury vehicles in the U.S.—the RX, ES, and IS—more than any other luxury make.

Lexus History

The Lexus saga began in 1983, when Toyota began the F1/Circle-F project, a secret initiative to develop the world’s best luxury car. This project was inspired by the success of the Toyota Supra sports car and the luxury Toyota Cressida models. Both the Supra and Cressida were rear-wheel drive cars with a powerful 7M-GE/7M-GTE engine. For their new flagship vehicle, however, U.S. Toyota executives convinced the Japanese Toyota board that a separate brand and dealership network was needed to support a top-flight luxury vehicle in the world’s largest automotive market, the United States.

Additionally, such a network would require not just one model, but several, the executives suggested. After much debate, Toyota’s Japanese leadership agreed to launch a separate luxury division. Initially, some Japanese Toyota executives were affronted with the prospect of their most prized design getting a separate badge, but ultimately they agreed that a separate title would confer a more lofty status.

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