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Lexus

Lexus

Japan Japan (1989 - present)
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History

The first Lexus in the US, 1989

The first Lexus in the US, 1989

© photo courtesy of: Lexus

Lexus is part of the Japanese group Toyota Motor CorporationToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present148 models
4521 photos
10 videos
. However, Lexus cars were first debuted in the United States in 1989 and were only released in Japan in 2005. Still, Lexus was the first Japanese carmaker to sell a luxury car in its home country.

It all started with a secret meeting in 1983. Toyota Chairman, Eiji Toyoda, concluded it was time to take a chance on luxury cars and summed up a top-level and top-secret meeting. From that meeting the F1 project emerged. In May 1985, a design team was established in California to develop concepts and one month later the first prototype of the LS400 is built. A study team was also sent to America, to conduct focus group research. Those results dictated that a new brand had to be crated, and Lexus was born.

The F1 project involved 60 designers, 1400 engineers and hundreds of other workers and costs built up to 1 billion US dollars. The project was concluded after the development of 450 prototypes and the first Lexus’ marques, the LS400LSLexus LSJapan, 1989 > present4 series
44 versions
95 photos
and the ES 250ESLexus ESJapan, 1989 > present6 series
4 versions
12 photos
, were unveiled at the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows in 1989. In September of that same year, they were put on sale.

Lexus arrived at United Kingdom and Australia one year later, but it was only introduced in its home market in 2005.

Lexus kept developing new models and generations, but in May 1995, the future of the brand in the United Stated was threatened by a new government proposal of taxing at 100% Japanese luxury cars. Japanese assured a bigger investment in the USA and the tariffs weren’t applied.

The first Lexus luxury sport-utility car, the LX450LXLexus LXJapan, 1996 > present3 series
2 versions
9 photos
, was released in 1996. One of Lexus areas of development is hybrid cars. In 2005, Lexus released its first hybrid luxury SUV, the RX 400RXLexus RXJapan, 1998 > present4 series
40 versions
105 photos
. The LS 600LS Hybrid 600h LLexus LS Hybrid 600h LJapan, 2009 > present3 photos
debuted in June 2007 as the world’s first hybrid V8 all-wheel drive vehicle. 

Lexus has managed to have a remarkable number of sales per year, topping many traditional brands on this segment. In terms of sales, Lexus is one of the brands with more units sold per year and it’s the forth largest luxury carmaker in the world.

Lexus has North America as its prime market, being Japan the second. In Europe, Lexus still struggles with the brand recognition due to the implementation and tradition of other luxury carmakers.

 



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Logo and Name

219 names were suggested for Lexus, of witch Vectre, Verone, Chaparel, Calibre and Alexis were strong candidates. Alexis was the front-runner, but when it was suggested, someone misheard it and understood Lexus. The name stuck, but it’s now attributed to the combination of the words “Luxury” and “Elegance”, qualities that its cars are know for. According with Toyota the name had no original meaning and it just needed to be simple and easy to remember.

The Lexus logo was developed by Molly Design and Hunter Communications. It is an “L” within an oval. Toyota says it was created according a precise mathematical formula.



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