1.1 1980s: The F1 project

Lexus (レ ク サ ス Rekusasu) is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. First introduced in 1989 in the USA,* [1] Lexus
is now sold globally and has become Japan's largestselling make of premium cars. The Lexus marque is
marketed in over 70 countries and territories worldwide,* [2] and has ranked among the ten largest Japanese
global brands in market value.* [3] Lexus is headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Operational centers are located
in Brussels, Belgium and Torrance, California, USA.

In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda issued a challenge
to build the world's best car.* [5] This challenge prompted
Toyota to embark on a top-secret project, code-named F1
(“Flagship One”).* [6] The F1 project, whose finished
product was ultimately the Lexus LS 400, aimed to develop a flagship sedan that would expand Toyotaʼs product line, giving it a foothold in the premium segment and
offering both longtime and new customers an upmarket
product.* [7] The F1 project followed the success of the
Toyota Supra sports car and the premium Toyota Cressida models.* [8] Both the Supra and Cressida were rearwheel drive cars with a powerful 7M-GE/7M-GTE inlinesix engine. The largest sedan Toyota built at the time was
the limited-production, 1960s-vintage Toyota Century,
its domestic, hand built, limousine flagship and sole V8powered model,* [9] followed by the inline-six-engined
Toyota Crown premium sedan.* [9]* [10] The Century
was conservatively styled for the Japanese market, and
along with the Crown not slated for export, despite having undergone a complete restyle in 1982.* [10] F1 designers targeted their new sedan at international markets
and began development on a new V8 engine.* [9]* [10]

Lexus originated from a clandestine flagship sedan
project, code-named F1, which began in 1983 and culminated in the launch of the original Lexus LS in 1989. Subsequently, the division added sedan, coupé, convertible,
and SUV models. Until 2005 Lexus did not exist as a
brand in its home market and all vehicles marketed internationally as Lexus from 1989-2005 were released in
Japan under the Toyota marque and an equivalent model
name. In 2005, a hybrid version of the RX crossover debuted, and additional hybrid models later joined the division's lineup. In 2007, Lexus launched its own F marque performance division with the debut of the IS F sport
sedan, followed by the LFA supercar in 2009.
From the start of production, Lexus vehicles have been
produced in Japan, with manufacturing centered in the
Chūbu and Kyūshū regions, and in particular at Toyota's Tahara, Aichi, Chūbu and Miyata, Fukuoka, Kyūshū
plants. Assembly of the first Lexus built outside the country, the Ontario, Canada–produced RX 330, began in
2003. Following a corporate reorganization from 2001
to 2005, Lexus also operates its own design, engineering,
and manufacturing centers, solely responsible for the division's vehicles.
Since the 2000s, Lexus has increased sales outside its
largest market, the USA, through an ongoing global expansion. The division inaugurated dealerships in Japan's
domestic market in 2005, becoming the first Japanese
premium car marque to launch in its country of origin.* [4] Further debuts in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, and other export regions have since followed.
The division's lineup has also been expanded to reflect regional specifications in model and powertrain configurations.


Lexus made its television debut with champagne glasses stacked
on the hood of a revving LS 400.

The opportunity for Japanese manufacturers to export
more expensive models had grown in the 1980s due to
voluntary export restraints, negotiated by the Japanese
government and U.S. trade representatives, restricting
mainstream car sales.* [11] In 1986, Honda launched its
Acura marque in the U.S., influencing Toyota's plans for
a luxury division;* [12] the initial Acura model was an
export version of the Honda Legend, itself launched in
Japan in 1985 as a rival to the Toyota Crown, Nissan
Cedric/Gloria and Mazda Luce.* [13] In 1987, Nissan unveiled its plans for a premium brand, Infiniti,* [14] and





revised its flagship Nissan President sedan in standard
wheelbase form for export as the Infiniti Q45, which it
launched in 1990.* [15] In 1988, Mazda began selling the
Luce as the Mazda 929 in North America, and later began
plans to develop an upscale marque, to be called Amati,
but its plans did not come to fruition.* [14]
Toyota researchers visited the USA in May 1985 to
conduct focus groups and market research on luxury
consumers.* [16] During that time, several F1 designers rented a home in Laguna Beach, California to observe the lifestyles and tastes of American upper class
consumers.* [16] Meanwhile, F1 engineering teams conducted prototype testing on locations ranging from the
German autobahn to U.S. roads.* [17] Toyotaʼs market
research concluded that a separate brand and sales channel were needed to present its new flagship sedan, and
plans were made to develop a new network of dealerships
in the U.S. market.* [18]

might cause confusion.* [22] The injunction threatened
to delay the division's launch and marketing efforts.* [22]
Upon reflection, a U.S. appeals court lifted the injunction, deciding that there was little likelihood of confusion
between the two products.* [22]
The original Lexus slogan, developed after Team One
representatives visited Lexus designers in Japan and
noted an obsessive attention to detail, became "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection."* [23] The Lexus logo was
developed by Molly Designs and Hunter Communications.* [24]* [25] The final design for the Lexus logo featured a stylized “L”within an oval, and according
to Toyota, was rendered using a precise mathematical
formula.* [19] The first teaser ads featuring the Lexus
name and logo, designed by Team One, appeared at the
Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York auto shows in
1988.* [26]
1.1.2 Launch


Brand development

In 1986, Toyotaʼs longtime advertising agency Saatchi
& Saatchi formed a specialized unit, Team One, to handle marketing for the new premium brand.* [12] Image
consulting firm Lippincott & Margulies was hired to develop a list of 219 prospective names; Vectre, Verone,
Chaparel, Calibre and Alexis were chosen as top candidates.* [19] While Alexis quickly became the front runner, concerns were raised that the name applied to people more than cars (being associated with the Alexis Carrington character on the popular 1980s primetime drama
Dynasty),* [19]* [20] and as a result the first letter was removed and the “i”replaced with a “u”to morph the
name to Lexus.* [20]

In 1989, after an extended development process involving 60 designers, 24 engineering teams, 1,400 engineers,
2,300 technicians, 220 support workers, approximately
450 prototypes, and over US$1 billion in costs, the F1
project was completed.* [27] The resulting flagship, the
Lexus LS 400, had a unique design that shared no major
elements with previous Toyota vehicles, with a new 4.0 L
V8 gasoline engine and rear-wheel drive.* [28]* [29] The
LS 400 debuted in January 1989 at the North American
International Auto Show in Detroit,* [14] and officially
went on sale the following September at a network of 81
new Lexus dealerships across the U.S.* [30] The LS 400
was sold along with a smaller sibling, the Toyota Camrybased ES 250.* [17] The launch of Lexus was heralded by
a multimillion dollar advertising campaign in both television and print media.* [31]

The LS 400 flagship sedan launched in 1989, introducing Lexus
to the world.
In 1991, the SC 400 coupe became the third Lexus model to debut.

The etymology of the Lexus name has been attributed to
the combination of the words“luxury”and“elegance,”
[21] and another theory claims it is an acronym for“luxury exports to the U.S.”* [21] According to Team One
interviews, the brand name has no specific meaning and
simply denotes a luxurious and technological image.* [19]
Just prior to the release of the first vehicles, database service LexisNexis obtained a temporary injunction forbidding the name Lexus from being used as they stated it

At its debut, the LS 400 was widely praised for its
quietness, well-appointed and ergonomic interior, engine
performance, build quality, aerodynamics, fuel economy, and value,* [17]* [32] although it was criticized by
some automobile columnists for derivative styling and
a suspension regarded as too compromising of handling for ride comfort.* [17]* [33] The LS 400 debuted at
US$38,000 in the U.S. (in some markets, it was priced


1990s: Growth and expansion

against mid-size six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz and BMW
models)* [34] and was rated by Car and Driver magazine
as better than both the US$63,000 Mercedes-Benz 420
SEL and the US$55,000 BMW 735i in terms of ride, handling, and performance.* [35] The LS 400 also won major
motoring awards from publications including Automobile
Magazine and Wheels Magazine.* [36]* [37] Despite being
an upstart, Lexus established instant customer loyalty and
its debut was generally regarded as a major shock to the
pedigree luxury marques. BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's
U.S. sales figures dropped 29% and 19%, respectively,
with BMW executives accusing Lexus of dumping in that
market, while 35% of Lexus buyers traded in a Lincoln
or Cadillac to make their purchase.* [35]
In December 1989, Lexus initiated a voluntary recall of
all 8,000 LS 400s sold to date, based upon two customer
complaints over defective wiring and an overheated brake
light.* [35] In a sweeping 20-day operation which replaced the parts on all affected vehicles, Lexus sent technicians to pick up, repair, and return cars to customers
free of charge, and also flew in personnel and rented
garage space for owners in remote locations.* [35] This
response was lauded in media publications and helped
establish the marque's early reputation for customer service.* [38]* [39]
By 1989's end, 16,392 LS 400 and ES 250 sedans
had been sold in the four months following the U.S.
launch.* [40] Although sales had begun at a slower pace
than expected, the final tally matched the division's target of 16,000 units for that year.* [41] Following initial
models, plans called for the addition of a sports coupe
along with a redesigned ES sedan.* [42]


became Lexus' top seller.* [42] At the conclusion of 1991,
Lexus had become the top-selling premium car import in
the U.S.,* [45]* [46] with sales reaching a total of 71,206
vehicles.* [43] That year, Lexus ranked highest in J.D.
Power and Associates' studies on initial vehicle quality, customer satisfaction, and sales satisfaction for the
first time.* [47] The marque also began increasing U.S.
model prices past those of comparable American premium makes, but still below high-end European models;* [46] by 1992, the LS 400's base price had risen 18%
to nearly US$45,000.* [48]
In 1993, Lexus launched the mid-size GS 300 sports
sedan, based on the Toyota Aristo using the Toyota “S”
platform from the Toyota Crown, which had sold for two
years prior in Japan.* [42] The GS 300 was priced below the LS 400 in the marque's lineup.* [49] That same
year, Lexus also became one of the first marques to debut a certified pre-owned program, with the aim of improving trade-in model values.* [50] In 1994, the marque introduced the second generation LS 400, a complete redesign of its flagship model.* [51] In May 1995,
sales were threatened by the U.S. government's proposal
of 100% tariffs on upscale Japanese cars in response to
the widening U.S.-Japan trade deficit.* [52] SUVs were
exempt from the proposed sanctions.* [53] Normal sales
operations resumed by late 1995 when the Japanese auto
manufacturers collectively agreed to greater American investments, and the tariffs were not enacted.* [52]

1990s: Growth and expansion

The ES 300 was the best-selling Lexus sedan in the 1990s.

The first RX 300 crossover SUV debuted in 1998.

In 1990, during its first full year of sales, Lexus sold
63,594 LS 400 and ES 250 sedans in the U.S.,* [43]
the vast majority being the LS model.* [43] That year,
Lexus also began limited exports to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia.* [17]* [44] In
1991, Lexus launched its first sports coupe, the SC 400,
which shared the LS 400ʼs V8 engine and rear-wheel
drive design.* [42] This was followed by the second generation ES 300 sedan, which succeeded the ES 250 and

In 1996, Lexus debuted its first sport utility vehicle, the
LX 450,* [54] followed by the third generation ES 300
sedan. The marque's plans for developing an SUV model
had accelerated during the U.S.-Japan tariff discussions
of 1995.* [53] In 1998, Lexus added the first luxurybranded crossover SUV, the RX 300, and the second generation GS 300 and GS 400 sedans. The RX crossover
targeted suburban buyers who desired an upmarket SUV
but did not need the LX's off-road capability;* [55] it
was particularly successful, becoming the marque's topselling model ahead of the ES 300.* [55] The same year,
Lexus made its debut in South America's most populous
country when it launched sales in Brazil.* [56]* [57] In
1999, Lexus recorded its one-millionth vehicle sold in the
U.S. market,* [45] and was ranked as the top-selling premium car maker in the U.S. overall.* [55]




2000s: Global reorganization

The second generation Lexus IS line debuted in 2005, and an F
marque variant arrived in 2007.
The RX 400h, the first hybrid version of Lexus' best-selling vehicle, debuted in 2004.

In 2000, Lexus introduced the IS line, a new series of
entry-level sport sedans. In 2001, the marque debuted its
first convertible, the SC 430, a redesigned ES 300, and the
third generation LS 430.* [58] The GX 470 mid-size SUV
debuted in 2002, followed by the second generation RX
330 in 2003.* [59] The following year, Lexus recorded its
two-millionth U.S. vehicle sale,* [60]* [61] and debuted
the first luxury-branded production hybrid SUV, the RX
400h.* [62] This vehicle used a Lexus Hybrid Drive system which combined gasoline and electric motors for increased power, fuel efficiency, and lower emissions relative to gasoline-only equivalents.* [63]
In 2005, Lexus completed an organizational separation
from parent company Toyota,* [64] with dedicated design, engineering, training, and manufacturing centers
working exclusively for the division.* [65]* [66] This effort coincided with Lexus' launch in its home market of
Japan and an expanded global launch of the brand in
major world markets such as China.* [66]* [67] Executives aimed to increase Lexus sales outside of its largest
market in the U.S.* [66]* [68] To accompany this expansion, next generation Lexus vehicles were redesigned as
“global models”for international release.* [69] In the European market, where Lexus had long faced struggling
sales owing to low brand recognition, few dedicated dealerships, and 1990s import quotas,* [70]* [71] the marque
announced plans to introduce hybrid and diesel powertrains,* [72] increase the number of Lexus dealerships,
and expand operations in emerging markets such as Russia.* [73]* [74]

opet Store, and the Soarer was previously available at
both Toyota Store and Toyopet Store locations.* [75]* [76]
Lexus models sold in Japan featured higher specifications
and a price premium (from ¥1-million and up) compared
with their discontinued Toyota counterparts.* [75] Sales
for the first half-year were slower than expected,* [77] affected by the contraction of the domestic auto market and
price increases,* [78] but improved in subsequent months
with an expanded lineup.* [78]* [79]
Through the mid-2000s, Lexus experienced sales successes in South Korea and Taiwan, becoming the topselling import make in both markets in 2005;* [80]* [81]
the marque also sold well in the Middle East, where it
ranked first or second among rivals in multiple countries,* [82] and in Australia, where Lexus reached third
in luxury car sales in 2006.* [83]* [84] Division executives in 2006 announced an expansion goal from 68 countries to 76 worldwide by 2010.* [85] By the end of the
decade, this expansion resulted in official launches in
Malaysia and South Africa in 2006,* [86]* [87] Indonesia
in 2007,* [88] Chile in 2008,* [89]* [90] and the Philippines in 2009.* [91]
1.3.1 Hybrids and F models
In 2006, Lexus began sales of the GS 450h, a V6 hybrid
performance sedan,* [92] and launched the fourth generation flagship LS line, comprising both standard- and longwheelbase V8 (LS 460 and LS 460 L) and hybrid (LS
600h and LS 600h L) versions.* [93] The fifth generation
ES 350 also debuted in the same year. The LS 600h L
subsequently went on sale as the most expensive sedan
ever produced in Japan, with a sticker price of approximately US$125,000.* [94] By the end of 2006, Lexus' annual sales had reached 475,000 vehicles worldwide.* [95]
In January 2007, Lexus announced a new F marque performance division, which would produce racing-inspired
versions of its performance models. The first of this line,
the IS F, made its debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show,* [96] accompanied by a supercar
concept, the LF-A.

Lexus' arrival in the Japanese market in July 2005 marked
the first introduction of a Japanese premium car marque in the domestic market.* [4] New generation LS, IS,
ES, GS and RX models subsequently became available
in Japan along with the SC 430, ending domestic sales
of Toyota-branded models under the Celsior, Altezza,
Windom, Aristo, Harrier and Soarer nameplates, respectively. The Altezza and Aristo were previously exclusive to Japanese Toyota retail sales channels called Toyota
Vista Store, the Windom was exclusive to Toyota Corolla In October 2007, Lexus entered the Specialty Equipment
Store, the Celsior and Harrier were exclusive to Toy- Market Association show in the U.S. for the first time


2010s: Recent developments

The first GS 450h rear-wheel drive hybrid debuted in 2006.

with the IS F, and announced its F-Sport performance
trim level and factory-sanctioned accessory line.* [97]
Automotive columnists noted Lexus' increased emphasis on sporty models as an effort to bolster the marque's
performance credentials and target rivals from MercedesBenz's AMG and BMW's M divisions.* [96]* [98] While
previous Lexus models such as the SC 400 and GS
400 had received favorable reactions from sport luxury buyers,* [99] other Lexus models had been characterized as favoring comfort over sporty road feel and
handling, compared with European rivals.* [100] By the
end of 2007, Lexus annual worldwide sales had surpassed 500,000 vehicles,* [101] and the marque ranked
as the top-selling premium import in China for the first
time.* [102] The largest sales markets in order of size for
2007 were the U.S., Japan, the UK, China, Canada, and
Russia.* [95]* [103]
In 2008, amidst the late-2000s recession and a weakened world car market, global sales fell 16% to
435,000,* [104]* [105]* [106] with declines in markets
such as the U.S. and Europe where deliveries fell by
21% and 27.5%, respectively.* [107]* [108] In 2009, the
marque launched the HS 250h,* [109] a dedicated hybrid sedan for North America and Japan, the RX 450h,
the second generation hybrid SUV replacing the earlier
RX 400h, and later that year debuted the US$375,000
production LFA exotic coupe.* [110] In late 2009, citing
higher sales of hybrid models over their petrol counterparts,* [111]* [112] Lexus announced plans to become a
hybrid-only marque in Europe.* [113] By the end of the
decade, Lexus ranked as the fourth-largest premium car
make in the world by volume,* [114] and was the numberone-selling premium car marque in the U.S. for ten consecutive years.* [106]* [114]* [115]



The Lexus LFA supercar completed its limited production run in

350 and certain IS models were affected by a recall for
potentially jamming floor mats,* [116] while parent company Toyota bore the brunt of negative publicity amid investigations over its series of product recalls and problem
rates per-vehicle.* [116]* [117] The redesigned GX 460
was also voluntarily recalled in April 2010 for a software
update, one week after Consumer Reports issued a recommendation not to buy the SUV, citing a possible rollover
risk following the slow stability control response to a highspeed emergency turn.* [118] Although the publication
knew of no reported incidents, the GX 460 received updated stability control software.* [118]
In late 2010 and early 2011, Lexus began sales of
the CT 200h, a compact four-door hybrid hatchback
designed for Europe, in multiple markets.* [119]* [120]
Sales of lower-displacement regional models were also
expanded, beginning with the ES 240 in China followed
by the RX 270; Japan, Russia, and Taiwan were among
markets which received model variants intended for reduced emissions or import taxes.* [121]* [122] In March
2011, the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami caused severe disruption to Lexus' Japan-based production lines,
hindering the marque's near-term sales prospects.* [123]
Lexus' U.S. executives stated that due to vehicle shortages
amidst close competition from BMW, Mercedes-Benz,
and Audi, the marque would not remain the country's topselling premium car brand.* [123]

2010s: Recent developments

In 2010, Lexus underwent a gradual sales recovery in
North America and Asia as the marque focused on adding The first Lexus hatchback, the CT 200h, premiered in 2010.
hybrids and new model derivatives.* [82] Sales in the U.S.
held steady despite the 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls, Cumulative sales results for 2011 indicated a 14% sales
several of which included Lexus models.* [116] The ES drop in the U.S. market,* [124] along with sales in-



creases of 40% and 27% in Europe and Japan respectively,* [125]* [126] for a global sales total of 410,000
units.* [127] Lexus' streak of eleven consecutive years
as the best-selling luxury marque in the U.S. ended that
year, with the title going to BMW followed by MercedesBenz.* [128] For 2011 while 45 percent of Lexus sales
in the United States relied upon the RX luxury crossover
SUV, rival Mercedes-Benz's best-selling offering was the
E-Class mid-luxury sedan which commands considerably higher prices.* [129] Subsequently, Toyota chairman
Akio Toyoda vowed to restore passion to the marque and
further increase its organizational independence, admitting that "...back then we did not regard Lexus as a brand,
but as a distribution channel”. As a result of Toyoda's
organizational changes, Lexus senior managers report directly to the chairman for the first time in the marque's
history.* [128]* [129]

Japan,* [143] with the head design studio devoted entirely
to Lexus models in Toyota City, Aichi.* [143]* [144]

2.2 Regional operations

Lexus sales operations vary in structure by region. In
many markets, such as the U.S., the dealership network is a distinct organization from corporate headquarters,* [123] with separately owned and operated Lexus
showrooms.* [145] By contrast, in Japan all 143 dealerships in the country are owned and operated by
Lexus.* [78] Several markets have a designated, third
party regional distributor; for example, in the United
Arab Emirates, sales operations are managed by AlFuttaim Motors LLC,* [82] and in Costa Rica, Lexus
vehicles are sold via regional distributor Purdy Motors
In January 2012, the marque began sales of the fourth S.A. [146] Other officially sanctioned regional distribuof, or in
generation GS line, including GS 350 and GS 450h vari- tors have sold Lexus models prior to the launch
ants, as well as a lower-displacement GS 250 model for
select markets.* [130] In April 2012, the sixth generation
ES line, include ES 350 and ES 300h variants, debuted
at the New York International Auto Show.* [131]
In August 2014, Toyota announced it would be cutting
its Lexus spare parts prices in China by up to 35%. The
company admitted the move was in response to a probe
foreshadowed earlier in the month by China's National
Development and Reform Commission of Lexus spare
parts policies, as part of an industry-wide investigation
Fuji Lexus College, the training facility for Lexus dealers in
into what the Chinese regulator considers exorbitantly
Shizuoka, Japan
high prices being charged by automakers for spare parts
and after-sales servicing. [132]

2.3 Financial performance


Corporate affairs

Lexus International, headed by managing officer Tokuo
Fukuichi, coordinates the worldwide operations of
Toyota's luxury division.* [136]* [137] Other executives
at Lexus' global headquarters, located in Nagoya,
Aichi,* [138] include Mark Templin, executive vice president of Lexus International,* [136] and managers of the
marque's Japan Sales & Marketing and global Product &
Marketing Planning divisions.* [137]* [139] While organizationally separate from its parent company, Lexus International reports directly to Toyota chief executive officer Akio Toyoda.* [127]
In the U.S., Lexus operations are headed by Jeffrey
Bracken, group vice president and general manager of
the U.S. Lexus division, located in Southern California.* [140] In Europe, Lexus operations are headed by
Alain Uyttenhoven, vice president of Lexus Europe,
located in Brussels.* [141] Companion design facilities
are located in Southern California* [142] and central

Financial data of Lexus operations are not disclosed publicly.* [147] However, automotive analysts estimate that
the Lexus division contributes a disproportionate share
of Toyota's profits, relative to its limited production and
sales volume.* [147] Interviews with retired division officials indicate that depending on sales volume, vehicle
product development cycles, and exchange rates, Lexus
sales have accounted for as much as half of Toyota's annual U.S. profit in certain years.* [147] Division executives have employed pricing strategies aimed at sustaining
profit margins rather than sales volume, with historically
fewer price incentives than rival brands.* [147] In 2006,
Lexus entered Interbrand's list of the Top 100 Global
Brands for the first time, with an estimated brand value
of approximately US$3 billion annually.* [148] In 2009,
Interbrand ranked Lexus as Japan's seventh largest brand,
between Panasonic and Nissan, based on revenue, earnings, and market value.* [3]

3 Automobiles



Vehicle lineup

Further information: List of Lexus vehicles
The global Lexus lineup features sedans of different size
classes, including the compact IS and HS models, midsize ES and GS models, and the full-size LS flagship.
Convertibles include the IS C models. Sport-utility vehicles range in size from the crossover RX, the mid-size
GX, to the full-size LX. Hybrid models include the CT
hatchback, HS sedan, and variants of the GS, LS, and
RX.* [149] The F marque line produces a variant of the
IS sedan and the LFA coupe.* [149]


F marque

on the model; 'S' can refer to 'sedan'* [155] or 'sport'* [76]
(e.g. in LS and SC), while 'X' refers to 'luxury utility
vehicle' or SUV.* [155]* [156] On hybrids, the three digits refer to the combined gasoline-electric output.* [63]
For certain models, a lower case letter placed after the
alphanumeric designation indicates powerplant type ('h'
for hybrid, 'd' for diesel),* [111] while capital letter(s)
placed at the end indicates a class subtype (e.g. 'L' for
long-wheelbase,* [64] 'C' for coupe, 'AWD' for all-wheel
drive). On F marque models, the two-letter designation
and the letter 'F' are used with no numbers or hyphens
(e.g. IS F).* [111]

4 Design and technology

Further information: Lexus F and Lexus F-Sport
Lexus produces its highest-performance models under its

Lexus F marque emblem

F marque division.* [96] The name refers to Flagship and
Fuji Speedway in Japan, whose first corner, 27R, inspired
the shape of the "F" emblem.* [150] F marque models are
developed by the Lexus Vehicle Performance Development Division.* [151] The first F marque model, the IS F,
went on sale in 2007, followed by the LFA in 2009.* [110]
A related F-Sport performance trim level and factorysanctioned accessory line is available for standard Lexus
models such as the IS 250 and IS 350.* [97] F-Sport succeeded an earlier in-house tuning effort, the TRD-based
L-Tuned, which had offered performance packages on
the IS and GS sedans in the early 2000s.* [152]* [153]

Lexus Remote Touch controller

Lexus design has traditionally placed an emphasis on
targeting specific vehicle development standards.* [157]
Since the marque's inception, design targets have ranged
from aerodynamics and ride quality to interior ergonomics.* [32]* [158] The backronym“IDEAL”(“Impressive, Dynamic, Elegant, Advanced, and Lasting”) is
used in the development process.* [159] Each vehicle is
designed according to approximately 500 specific product
standards, known as “Lexus Musts,”on criteria such as
leather seat stitching.* [160]* [161] Design elements from
the marque's concept vehicle line, the LF series (including the 2003 LF-S and 2004 LF-C), have been incorpoThe latest editions to the performance F marque include rated in production models.* [162]* [163]
the Lexus RC F and upcoming Lexus GS F.* [154]
Vehicle cabins have incorporated electroluminescent
Optitron gauges,* [164] SmartAccess, a smart key
entry and startup system,* [165] and multimedia fea3.3 Model nomenclature
tures. Beginning with the 2010 RX and HS models,
Lexus production models are named alphanumerically the Remote Touch system, featuring a computer
using two-letter designations followed by three digits. mouse-like controller with haptic feedback, was inThe first letter indicates relative status in the Lexus model troduced;* [109]* [166] other models have featured
range (ranking),* [155] and the second letter refers to car touchscreen controls (through the 2009 model year)
body style or type* [155] (e.g. LS for 'luxury sedan'). The as a navigation screen interface.* [165] In 1989, Lexus
three digits indicate engine displacement in liters multi- became among the first premium car marques to equip
plied by a factor of one hundred (e.g. 350 for a 3.5 L en- models with premium audio systems, in partnership
gine).* [155] A space is used between the letters and num- with stereo firm Nakamichi.* [167]* [168] Since 2001,
bers. The same letter may be used differently depending optional surround sound systems are offered via high-end




audio purveyor Mark Levinson.* [168] For reduced European models allow operation in motion.* [178]
cabin noise, the first LS 400 introduced sandwich
steel plating,* [164] and later models added acoustic
glass.* [169] In 2006, the LS 460 debuted the first
ceiling air diffusers and infrared body temperature
sensors in a car.* [170]* [171] Telematics services include
G-Book with G-Link in Asia and Lexus Enform in North
America.* [172]

The Lexus flagship has been offered in hybrid form since 2006
as the LS 600h and LS 600h L.

The eight-speed automatic transmission in the IS F and LS 460

In 2006, Lexus incorporated the first production eightspeed automatic transmission in an automobile with the
LS 460,* [170] and the gearbox was later adapted for
the GS 460 and IS F models. Continuously variable
transmissions, regenerative brakes, and electric motors
have been used on all Lexus hybrid models.* [63] In
2007, Lexus executives signaled intentions to equip further models with hybrid powertrains,* [111] catering to
demands for a decrease in both carbon pollution and oil
reliance.* [173] Hybrid models have been differentiated
by separate badging and lighting technology; in 2008, the
LS 600h L became the first production vehicle to use
LED headlamps.* [174]
Safety features on Lexus models range from stability and handling programs (Vehicle Stability Control
and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management)* [175]
to backup cameras, swivel headlights, and sonar warning systems. The Lexus Pre-Collision System (PCS) integrates multiple safety systems.* [175] In 2007, Lexus
introduced the first car safety systems with infrared
and pedestrian detection capabilities, lane keep assist, a
Driver Monitoring System with facial recognition monitoring of driver attentiveness, and rear pre-collision
whiplash protection, as part of the LS 460 PCS.* [170]
As a safety precaution, Lexus GPS navigation systems in
many regions feature a motion lockout when the vehicle
reaches a set speed; to prevent distraction, navigation inputs are limited, while voice input and certain buttons are
still accessible. This safety feature has attracted criticism
because passengers cannot use certain functions when the
vehicle is in motion.* [176] Pre-2007 models came with a
hidden manufacturer override option,* [177] and updated

Production models in development have included convertibles, crossovers, and dedicated hybrids.* [179]* [180]
Under the F marque, Lexus plans to produce highperformance vehicles with its first expressions being
the IS F and the LFA. Lexus officials have also discussed standard production model usage of varying
platforms.* [181] The LS flagship uses a dedicated platform,* [29] while the entry-level Lexus ES had been
criticized for being too similar to the Toyota Camry,
with which it shared platforms until its sixth generation,* [131] in both styling and powertrain design.* [182]
The Nürburgring test track in Germany has also seen
Lexus prototype testing.* [183]

4.1 L-finesse
See also: Lexus LF
Lexus introduced a new design language known as “Lfinesse”in the mid-2000s with its LF series concepts
and the 2006 Lexus GS.* [184]* [185] L-finesse is represented by three Japanese kanji characters which translate
as “Intriguing Elegance, Incisive Simplicity, and Seamless Anticipation”.* [185] Design characteristics, including a fastback profile, lower-set grille,* [186] and the use
of both convex and concave surfaces,* [186] are derived
from Japanese cultural motifs (e.g. the phrase kirikaeshi
in arrowhead shapes).* [187] While earlier Lexus models
were criticized for reserved and derivative styling, and often mistaken for understated domestic market cars,* [186]
automotive design analyses described L-finesse as adding
a distinctive nature and embrace of Japanese design identity.* [184]* [185] Opinions varied for L-finesse's debut
on the GS; Sports Car International's analysis praised the
vehicle's in-person appearance;* [188] Automobile Magazine criticized the daring of its forward styling,* [189]
and compared subsequent rival models for design similarities.* [190] In 2012, the arrival of the redesigned
fourth generation Lexus GS featured the introduction of
a spindle-shaped grille design, intended to be used on all


Quality rankings


forthcoming Lexus models.* [138] L-finesse exhibitions city of Cambridge, in Ontario, Canada, which is the first
were presented at Milan's Salone del Mobile from 2005 Lexus production site located outside of Japan. In 2005,
through 2009.* [191]
J.D. Power and Associates bestowed its Platinum award
for worldwide plant quality on the Tahara plant for the
fourth consecutive year, stating that it has the fewest defects of any manufacturing plant in the world.* [200] In
5 Production
2006, J.D. Power named the Miyata plant, then the site
of ES and IS model production, as its recipient of the
5.1 Assembly plants
Platinum award for worldwide plant quality,* [201] and
in 2009 the Higashi Fuji plant, site of SC production, received the same recognition.* [202]

5.2 Quality rankings

Lexus models produced by the Tahara plant in Aichi, Japan

The first Lexus vehicles were manufactured in Toyota's flagship Tahara plant, a highly sophisticated, computerized manufacturing plant in Japan.* [149]* [192]
Lexus production techniques include methods and standards of quality control that differ from Toyota models.* [193]* [194] At the Tahara plant, separate assembly
lines were developed for Lexus vehicles,* [195]* [196]
along with new molds and specialized manufacturing
equipment.* [196] Welding processes, body panel fit tolerances, and paint quality requirements are more stringent.* [193]* [197] Lexus plant workers, typically veteran
technicians, are identified via repeated performance evaluations and ranked according to skill grade, with limited applicants accepted.* [198] The highest level takumi
(Japanese for “artisan”) engineers are responsible for
maintaining production standards at key points in the assembly process, such as testing engine performance.* [64]
Production vehicles are given visual inspections for flaws,
individually test-driven at high speeds, and subjected to
vibration tests.* [193]
Through the 2000s, most Lexus sedan and SUV production has occurred in Japan at the Tahara plant in Aichi and
Miyata plant in Fukuoka.* [68]* [149] In addition to the
Tahara factory, Lexus vehicles have been produced at the
Miyata plant (Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc.) in Miyawaka,
Fukuoka, Higashi Fuji plant (Kanto Auto Works, Ltd.)
in Susono, Shizuoka, and Sanage plant (Toyota Boshoku
Corp.; Araco) in Toyota City, Aichi.* [68]* [149] Frontwheel drive cars, such as the ES and HS, are produced
in the Fukuoka Prefecture.* [149] The Kokura plant in
Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, which opened in 2008, is a dedicated hybrid production site for Lexus models such as
the gasoline-electric RX.* [199] The North American–
market RX 350 (since the 2004 model year) is produced
at the Cambridge plant (Toyota Canada, Inc.) in the

In industry ratings of build quality, owner satisfaction,
and reliability, Lexus vehicles have outperformed other
manufacturers in successive years. J.D. Power and
Associates has named Lexus the most reliable brand
in the U.S. over fourteen times since 1995,* [203] according to its Vehicle Dependability Survey of over
53,000 vehicle owners and the first three years of ownership.* [204]* [205] In the J.D. Power Owner Satisfaction
Survey of over 16,000 vehicle owners in the UK and the
first one to three years of ownership, Lexus has scored
the highest of all manufacturers for over ten years in a
row; in 2011, the marque was again the top manufacturer and the Lexus IS was the highest ranked of all cars
surveyed.* [206] In the 2000s, Consumer Reports named
Lexus among the top five most reliable brands in its Annual Car Reliability Surveys of over one million vehicles
across the U.S.* [207]* [208] The marque has also topped
the J.D. Power Initial Quality Index, which measures vehicle problems in the first 90 days of ownership.* [209]

6 Service

Showroom of a Lexus dealership in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Lexus has become known for efforts to project an upscale image, particularly with service provided after the
sale. The waiting areas in service departments are replete
with amenities, ranging from refreshment bars to indoor



putting greens.* [210]* [211] Dealerships typically offer
complimentary loaner cars or“courtesy cars”and free car
washes,* [211] and some have added on-site cafes and designer boutiques.* [212]* [213] Service bays are lined with
large picture windows for owners to watch the servicing
of their vehicle.* [214] In 2005, Lexus also began reserving parking lots at major sporting arenas, entertainment
events, and shopping malls, with the only requirement for
free entry being the ownership of a Lexus vehicle.* [215]
An online owner publication, Lexus Magazine,* [216] features automotive and lifestyle articles and is published online monthly* [217] and on a mobile site.* [218]
Since 2002, Lexus has scored consecutive top ratings
in the Auto Express* [219]* [220] and 76,000-respondent
Top Gear customer satisfaction surveys in the UK.* [221]
Lexus has also repeatedly topped the 79,000-respondent
J.D. Power Customer Service Index* [222] and Luxury
Institute, New York surveys in the U.S.* [223] As a result of service satisfaction levels, the marque has one of
the highest customer loyalty rates in the industry.* [224]
To improve customer service, employees are instructed
to follow the “Lexus Covenant,”the marque's founding
promise (which states that “Lexus will treat each customer as we would a guest in our home”),* [225] and
some dealerships have incorporated training at upscale
establishments such as Nordstrom department stores and
Ritz-Carlton hotels.* [226]



Arizona.* [230] Team Lexus won its first IS 300 victory
that year at the Virginia International Raceway.* [230]
In 2002, Team Lexus' competitive efforts in the GrandAm Cup ST1 (Street Tuner) class achieved victories in
the Drivers' and Team Championships,* [228]* [229] as
well as a sweep of the top three finishes at Circuit MontTremblant in Quebec, Canada.* [231]
After the release of the Lexus brand in the Japanese domestic market in 2005, Lexus sanctioned the entry of
four SC 430 coupes in the Super GT series of the All
Japan Grand Touring Car Championship in the GT500
class. In the first race of the 2006 series, an SC 430 took
the chequered flag,* [232] and drivers André Lotterer and
Juichi Wakisaka raced the SC 430 to capture the GT500
championship for that year.* [233] In 2007, another SC
430 won the GT500 opening round race.* [234] In 2006,
Lexus raced a hybrid vehicle for the first time, entering
a GS 450h performance hybrid sedan in partnership with
Sigma Advanced Racing Development at the 24 Hours of
Tokachi race in Hokkaido, Japan.* [235] Lexus Canada
also entered the GS 450h in 2007's Targa Newfoundland
event.* [236] In 2009, Lexus Super GT Team SC 430 and
IS 350 racers won the GT500 and GT300 championships,
respectively.* [237]


In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Lexus won the Rolex Sports Car Series
Manufacturers' Championship.

Lexus has competed at the 24 Hours Nürburgring since 2008,
with race vehicles including the LFA and IS F.

Lexus first entered the motorsport arena in 1999 when
its racing unit, Team Lexus,* [227] fielded two GS 400
race vehicles in the Motorola Cup North American Street
Stock Championship touring car series. In its 1999 inaugural season, Team Lexus achieved its first victory with its
sixth race at Road Atlanta.* [228] Led by Sports Car Club
of America and International Motor Sports Association
driver Chuck Goldsborough, based in Baltimore, Maryland,* [229] Team Lexus capitalized on the debut of the
first generation Lexus IS by entering three IS 300s in the
third race of the 2001 Grand-Am Cup season at Phoenix,

Lexus' participation in endurance racing further includes
the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, sanctioned by the Grand
American Road Racing Association. After entering the
Rolex Sports Car Series in 2004, Lexus has won over
15 Rolex Series event races.* [238] In 2005, Lexus was
runner-up, and in 2006, it won the championship.* [239]
Although Toyota has won this race in the past, it was
the first time that its luxury arm emerged as the winner. In 2007, six Lexus-powered Daytona prototypes
were entered in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona event
at the Daytona International Speedway. Lexus was a
repeat winner of the event, with a Lexus-Riley prototype driven by Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya, and
Salvador Durán of Chip Ganassi Racing finishing first;
Lexus-Riley prototypes also took three of the top ten
spots.* [240] In 2008, Lexus won its third consecutive win
at Daytona.* [241] For the 2010 season, Lexus departed
from the Rolex Sports Car Series, and Ganassi Racing
switched to BMW/Dinan engines.* [242] The LF-A pro-

totype also competed on the Nürburgring since 2008 in
VLN endurance races* [243] and in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, also with the IS F.* [244] On May 14, 2011,
a CT 200h tuned up by Gazoo Racing competed in the
Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, a six-hour endurance race.* [245]


Lexus LFA Crystallised Wind, a full-size glass art model

higher price premiums than rival Japanese makes,* [255]
with new models further increasing in price and reaching
the over-US$100,000 ultra-luxury category long dominated by rival European marques.* [256]* [257]* [258]

The Lexus 2054, a concept model produced for the film Minority

From its inception, Lexus has been advertised to luxury consumers using specific marketing strategies, with
a consistent motif used for the marque's advertisements.
Beginning in 1989, television ads were narrated by actor James Sloyan (the voice of “Mr. Lexus”until
2009),* [31]* [246] and accompanied by vehicles that performed unusual stunts onscreen.* [247] The first decade
of Lexus commercials (1989–99) consisted primarily
of disjunctive verbal descriptions, such as “relentless,”
“pursuit,”and“perfection,”* [248] while vehicles were
used to claim superiority in precision, idling, and interior quiet and comfort on camera.* [247] Examples included the champagne glass "Balance" (1989) and rolling
"Ball Bearing" (1992).* [247] In the 2000s, commercials
included descriptions of novel features,* [249] or a narration of the events onscreen, and were often targeted
at the marque's German competitors.* [250] An annual
“December to Remember”campaign featured scenes of
family members surprising loved ones with the gift of
a new Lexus.* [251] The marque returned to the champagne glass theme in a 2006 LS 460 spot showing the
sedan maneuvering between two stacks of glasses using
its self-parking system, and in a 2010 LFA spot showing its engine sound shattering a glass via resonance frequency.* [252]
Industry observers have attributed Lexus' early marketing successes to higher levels of perceived quality
and lower prices than competitors, which have enabled
the marque to attract customers upgrading from massmarket cars.* [7]* [35] A reputation for dependability,
bolstered by reliability surveys, also became a primary
factor in attracting new customers from rival premium
makes.* [253]* [254] Lexus has since grown to command

Automotive analysts have also noted Lexus' relative
newcomer status as a marketing challenge for the
brand,* [259] although some have debated the requirement of a long history.* [255]* [260] European rivals have
marketed their decades of heritage and pedigree,* [261]
whereas Lexus' reputation rests primarily upon its perceived quality and shared history with parent company
Toyota.* [255] Several analysts have stated that Lexus will
have to develop its own heritage over time by highlighting technological innovations and producing substantial
products.* [95]* [259]
Lexus' marketing efforts have extended to sporting and
charity event sponsorships, including the U.S. Open tennis Grand Slam event from 2005 to 2009, and the United
States Golf Association's U.S. Open, U.S. Women's
Open, U.S. Senior Open, and U.S. Amateur tournaments since 2007.* [262]* [263] Lexus has organized an
annual Champions for Charity golf series in the U.S.
since 1989.* [264] Endorsement contracts have also been
signed with professional athletes Andy Roddick, Annika
Sörenstam, and Peter Jacobsen.* [265]

9 See also
• The Championship by Lexus

10 References
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10.2 Bibliography

[246] Halliday, Jean (2009-03-13). “Lexus Trades in Sloyan
for New Set of Voice-Over Pipes”. Advertising Age. Retrieved 2009-03-19.

• Dawson, Chester (2004). Lexus: The Relentless Pursuit. Hoboken, NJ: Jon Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-47082110-8.

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• Long, Brian (2001). Lexus: The Challenge to Create the Finest Automobile. Dorchester, Dorset, UK:
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• Mahler, Jonathan (2004). The Lexus Story: The
Behind the Scenes Story of the #1 Automotive Luxury Brand in America. New York: Melcher Media.
ISBN 0-9717935-7-3.
• May, Matthew E. (2006). The Elegant Solution:
Toyota's Formula for Mastering Innovation. Forward by Kevin Roberts. New York: Free Press.
ISBN 0-7432-9017-8. LCCN 2006048411.
• Morgan, James M.; Liker, Jeffrey K. (2006). The
Toyota Product Development System: Integrating
People, Process and Technology. New York: Productive Press. ISBN 1-56327-282-2.


External links

• Official website (Japan)
• Official website (select by country)
• Lexus at DMOZ




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