Lexus

Lexus (レクサス Rekusasu) is the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese automaker Toyota. The Lexus brand is marketed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide[1] and has become Japan's largest-selling make of premium cars. It has ranked among the 10 largest Japanese global brands in market value.[2] Lexus is headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Operational centers are located in Brussels, Belgium and the U.S. in Plano, Texas.

Lexus originated from a corporate project to develop a new premium sedan, code-named F1, which began in 1983 and culminated in the launch of the Lexus LS in 1989. Subsequently, the division added sedan, coupé, convertible and SUV models. Lexus did not exist as a brand in its home market until 2005, and all vehicles marketed internationally as Lexus from 1989 to 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. Lexus launched its own F marque performance division in 2007 with the debut of the IS F sport sedan, followed by the LFA supercar in 2009.

Lexus vehicles are largely 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-produced RX 330, began in 2003. Following a corporate reorganization from 2001 to 2005, Lexus began operation of its own design, engineering and manufacturing centers.

Since the 2000s, Lexus has increased sales outside its largest market, the United States. The division inaugurated dealerships in the Japanese domestic market in 2005, becoming the first Japanese premium car marque to launch in its country of origin.[3] The brand was introduced in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe and other regions.

Lexus
Division
IndustryAutomotive
Founded1 September 1989
FounderEiji Toyoda
HeadquartersNagoya, Japan
Key people
Yoshihiro Sawa (President)
Vince Socco (VP, Asia Pacific)
Alain Uyttenhoven (VP, EU)
David Christ (VP, U.S.)
ProductsLuxury vehicles
Performance Vehicles
ServicesAutomotive financing
ParentToyota
DivisionsF marque
WebsiteOfficial sites
(select by country)

History

1980s: The F1 project

The brand was created around the same time as Japanese rivals Nissan and Honda developed their Infiniti and Acura premium brands. The Japanese government imposed voluntary export restraints for the U.S. market, so it was more profitable for Japanese automakers to export more expensive cars to the U.S.

In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda issued a challenge to build the world's best car.[4] The project, code-named F1 (“Flagship One”)[5] developed the Lexus LS 400 to expand Toyota's product line in the premium segment.[6] The F1 project followed the Toyota Supra sports car and the premium Toyota Mark II models.[7] Both the Supra and Mark II were rear-wheel drive cars with a powerful 7M-GE or 7M-GTE inline-six engine. The largest sedan Toyota built at the time was the limited-production, 1960s-vintage Toyota Century, a domestic, hand-built limousine, and V8-powered model,[8] followed by the inline-six-engined Toyota Crown premium sedan.[8][9] The Century was conservatively styled for the Japanese market and along with the Crown not slated for export after a restyle in 1982.[9] The F1 designers targeted their new sedan at international markets and began development on a new V8 engine.[8][9]

Lexus Balance ad
Lexus television debut with champagne glasses stacked on the hood of a revving LS 400

Japanese manufacturers exported more expensive models in the 1980s due to voluntary export restraints negotiated by the Japanese government and U.S. trade representatives that restricted mainstream car sales.[10] In 1986, Honda launched its Acura marque in the U.S., influencing Toyota's plans for a luxury division.[11] 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.[12] In 1987, Nissan unveiled its plans for a premium brand, Infiniti,[13] and revised its Nissan President sedan in standard wheelbase form for export as the Infiniti Q45, which it launched in 1990.[14] Mazda began selling the Luce as the Mazda 929 in North America in 1988 and later began plans to develop an upscale marque to be called Amati, but its plans did not come to fruition.[13]

Toyota researchers visited the U.S. in May 1985 to conduct focus groups and market research on luxury consumers.[15] During that time, several F1 designers rented a home in Laguna Beach, California, to observe the lifestyles and tastes of American upper class consumers.[15] Meanwhile, F1 engineering teams conducted prototype testing on locations ranging from the German autobahn to U.S. roads.[16] Toyota's market research concluded that a separate brand and sales channel were needed to present its new sedan, and plans were made to develop a new network of dealerships in the U.S. market.[17]

Brand development

In 1986, Toyota's longtime advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi formed a specialized unit, Team One, to handle marketing for the new brand.[11] 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.[18] 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 prime time drama Dynasty).[18][19] As a result, the first letter was removed and the "i" replaced with a "u" to morph the name to Lexus.[19]

Lexus LS 400 UCF10 I
LS 400 sedan launched in 1989

Theories of the etymology of the Lexus name have suggested it is the combination of the words "luxury" and "elegance,"[20] and that it is an acronym for "luxury exports to the U.S."[20] According to Team One interviews, the brand name has no specific meaning and simply denotes a luxurious and technological image.[18] Prior to the release of the first vehicles, database service LexisNexis obtained a temporary injunction forbidding the name Lexus from being used because it might cause product confusion.[21] The injunction threatened to delay the division's launch and marketing efforts.[21] The U.S. appeals court lifted the injunction, deciding that there was little likelihood of confusion between the two products.[21]

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."[22] Three firms were involved in the final phase of logo development: Saatchi & Saatchi, Molly Designs and Hunter/Korobkin, Inc.[23] The finished logo was a combination of two firms’ final designs: the Lexus logo typeface came from Saatchi & Saatchi and the “L” was Hunter/Korobkin, Inc.’s design. According to Toyota, the automaker made some refinements so the logo would be easier to manufacture, rendering it using a mathematical formula.[24][18] The first teaser ads featuring the Lexus name and logo appeared at the Chicago, Los Angeles and New York auto shows in 1988.[25]

Launch

The F1 project was completed in 1989, involving 60 designers, 24 engineering teams, 1,400 engineers, 2,300 technicians, 220 support workers, approximately 450 prototypes and more than $1 billion in costs.[26] The resulting car, the Lexus LS 400, had a design that shared no major elements with previous Toyota vehicles, with a new 4.0 L V8 gasoline engine and rear-wheel drive.[27][28] The car debuted in January 1989 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit[13] and official sales of the vehicle began the following September at a network of 81 new Lexus dealerships in the U.S.[29] The LS 400 was sold along with the smaller ES 250, a rebadged version of the Japanese market Toyota Camry Prominent/Toyota Vista.[16] The launch of Lexus was accompanied by a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign.[30]

Lexus SC 400 1991
1991 SC 400 coupe was the third Lexus model

The LS 400 was praised for its quietness, well-appointed and ergonomic interior, engine performance, build quality, aerodynamics, fuel economy and value.[16][31] However, it was criticized by some automobile columnists for derivative styling and a suspension regarded as too compromising of handling for ride comfort.[16][32] In some markets it was priced against mid-size, six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz and BMW models.[33] It was rated by Car and Driver magazine as better than the higher-priced Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL and BMW 735i in terms of ride, handling and performance.[34] The LS 400 also won motoring awards from automotive publications including Automobile Magazine and Wheels Magazine.[35][36] Lexus quickly established customer loyalty and its debut was generally regarded as a shock to existing luxury marques. BMW's and Mercedes-Benz's U.S. sales figures dropped 29 percent and 19 percent, respectively, with BMW executives accusing Lexus of dumping in that market, while 35 percent of Lexus buyers traded in a Lincoln or Cadillac.[34]

In December 1989, Lexus initiated a voluntary recall of all 8,000 LS 400s based upon two customer complaints over defective wiring and an overheated brake light.[34] A 20-day operation to replace the parts on affected vehicles included technicians to pick up, repair and return cars to customers free of charge, and also flying personnel and renting garage space for owners in remote locations.[34] This response was covered in media publications and helped establish the marque's early reputation for customer service.[37][38]

By the end of 1989, a total of 16,392 LS 400 and ES 250 sedans were sold in the four months following the U.S. launch.[39] 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.[40] Following initial models, plans called for the addition of a sports coupe along with a redesigned ES sedan.[41]

1990s: Growth and expansion

Lexus.RX.300
1998 RX 300, first Lexus crossover SUV

In 1990, during its first full year of sales, Lexus sold 63,594 LS 400 and ES 250 sedans in the U.S.,[42] the majority being the LS model.[42] That year, Lexus also began limited exports to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada and Australia.[16][43] In 1991, Lexus launched its first sports coupe, the SC 400, which shared the LS 400s V8 engine and rear-wheel drive design.[41] This was followed by the second generation ES 300 sedan, which succeeded the ES 250 and became Lexus' top seller.[41] At the conclusion of 1991, Lexus had become the top-selling premium car import in the U.S.,[44][45] with sales reaching 71,206 vehicles.[42] 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.[46] The marque also began increasing U.S. model prices past those of comparable American premium makes, but still below high-end European models.[45] By 1992, the LS 400's base price had risen 18 percent.[47]

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.[41] The GS 300 was priced below the LS 400 in the marque's lineup.[48] That same year, Lexus became one of the first marques to debut a certified pre-owned program, with the aim of improving trade-in model values.[49] The marque introduced the second generation LS 400 in 1994.[50] In May 1995, sales were threatened by the U.S. government's proposal of 100 percent tariffs on upscale Japanese cars in response to the widening U.S.-Japan trade deficit.[51] SUVs were exempt from the proposed sanctions.[52] Normal sales operations resumed by late 1995 when the Japanese auto manufacturers collectively agreed to greater American investments and the tariffs were not enacted.[51]

1996-1999 Lexus ES 300 (MCV20R) LXS sedan (2011-10-25) 01a
ES 300 was the best-selling Lexus sedan in the 1990s

In 1996, Lexus debuted its first sport utility vehicle, the LX 450,[53] followed by the third generation ES 300 sedan, and the second generation GS 300 and GS 400 sedans in 1997. The marque's plans for developing an SUV model had accelerated during the U.S.-Japan tariff discussions of 1995.[52] Lexus added the first luxury-branded crossover SUV, the RX 300 in 1998. The RX crossover targeted suburban buyers who desired an upmarket SUV but did not need the LX's off-road capability.[54] It was particularly successful, eventually becoming the marque's top-selling model ahead of the ES sedan.[54] The same year, Lexus made its debut in South America's most populous country when it launched sales in Brazil.[55][56] In 1999, the IS was introduced, an entry-level sport sedan. Lexus also recorded its 1 millionth vehicle sold in the U.S. market,[44] being ranked as the top-selling premium car maker in the U.S. overall.[54]

2000s: Global reorganization

Lexus RX 400h front
2004 RX 400h, first hybrid version of Lexus' best-selling vehicle

In July 2000, Lexus introduced the IS 300 in North America, following global launch in 1999 (as the IS 200) and the third generation LS 430. In 2001, the first convertible was introduced, as well as the SC 430 and a redesigned ES 300.[57] The GX 470 mid-size SUV debuted in 2002, followed by the second generation RX 330 in 2003.[58] The following year, Lexus recorded its 2 millionth U.S. vehicle sale,[59][60] and the first luxury-branded production hybrid SUV, the RX 400h.[61] This vehicle used Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system that combined gasoline and electric motors.[62]

In 2005, Lexus completed an organizational separation from parent company Toyota,[63] with dedicated design, engineering, training, and manufacturing centers working exclusively for the division.[64][65] This effort coincided with Lexus' launch in its home market of Japan and an expanded global launch of the brand in markets such as China.[65][66] Executives aimed to increase Lexus sales outside of its largest market in the U.S.[65][67] To accompany this expansion, next generation Lexus vehicles were redesigned as "global models" for international release.[68] In the European market, where Lexus had long faced struggling sales owing to low brand recognition, few dedicated dealerships, and 1990s import quotas,[69][70] the marque announced plans to introduce hybrid and diesel powertrains,[71] increase the number of Lexus dealerships, and expand operations in emerging markets such as Russia.[72][73]

Lexus IS250 silver
2006 Lexus IS, second generation with F marque variant in 2007

Lexus' arrival in the Japanese market in July 2005 marked the first introduction of a Japanese premium car marque in the domestic market.[3] 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 Store, the Celsior and Harrier were exclusive to Toyopet Store, and the Soarer was previously available at both Toyota Store and Toyopet Store locations.[74][75] Lexus models sold in Japan featured higher specifications and a price premium compared with their discontinued Toyota counterparts.[74] Sales for the first half-year were slower than expected,[76] affected by the contraction of the domestic auto market and price increases,[77] but improved in subsequent months with an expanded lineup.[77][78]

Through the mid-2000s, Lexus experienced sales successes in South Korea and Taiwan, becoming the top-selling import make in both markets in 2005;[79][80] the marque also sold well in the Middle East, where it ranked first or second among rivals in multiple countries,[81] and in Australia, where Lexus reached third in luxury car sales in 2006.[82][83] Division executives in 2006 announced an expansion goal from 68 countries to 76 worldwide by 2010.[84] By the end of the decade, this expansion resulted in official launches in Malaysia and South Africa in 2006,[85][86] Indonesia in 2007,[87] Chile in 2008,[88][89] and the Philippines in 2009.[90]

Hybrids and F models

In 2006, Lexus began sales of the GS 450h, a V6 hybrid performance sedan,[91] and launched the fourth generation LS line, comprising both standard- and long-wheelbase V8 (LS 460 and LS 460 L) and hybrid (LS 600h and LS 600h L) versions.[92] 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.[93] By the end of 2006, Lexus' annual sales had reached 475,000 vehicles worldwide.[94] In January 2007, Lexus announced a new F marque performance division, which would produce racing-inspired versions of its performance models. The IS F, made its debut at the 2007 North American International Auto Show,[95] accompanied by a concept car, the LF-A.

Tino Rossini's Reviews - 025 - 2010 Lexus GS450h
2006 GS 450h, first rear-wheel drive hybrid

In October 2007, Lexus entered the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in the U.S. for the first time with the IS F, and announced its F-Sport performance trim level and factory-sanctioned accessory line.[96] Increased emphasis on sporty models was an effort to target rivals from Mercedes-Benz's AMG and BMW's M divisions.[95][97] Models such as the SC 400 and GS 400 had received favorable reactions from sport luxury buyers,[98] most Lexus models had been characterized as favoring comfort over sporty road feel and handling, compared with European rivals.[99] By the end of 2007, Lexus annual worldwide sales had surpassed 500,000 vehicles,[100] and the marque ranked as the top-selling premium import in China for the first time.[101] The largest sales markets in order of size for 2007 were the U.S., Japan, the UK, China, Canada, and Russia.[94][102]

In 2008, amidst the late-2000s recession and a weakened world car market, global sales fell 16 percent to 435,000,[103][104][105] with declines in markets such as the U.S. and Europe where deliveries fell by 21 percent and 27.5 percent, respectively.[106][107] In 2009, the marque launched the HS 250h,[108] 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.[109] In late 2009, citing higher sales of hybrid models over their petrol counterparts,[110][111] Lexus announced plans to become a hybrid-only marque in Europe.[112] By the end of the decade, Lexus ranked as the fourth-largest premium car make in the world by volume,[113] and was the number one selling premium car marque in the U.S. for 10 consecutive years.[105][113][114]

2010s: Recent developments

In 2010, Lexus underwent a gradual sales recovery in North America and Asia as the marque focused on adding hybrids and new model derivatives.[81] Sales in the U.S. held steady despite the 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls, several of which included Lexus models.[115] The ES 350 and certain IS models were affected by a recall for potentially jamming floor mats,[115] while parent company Toyota bore the brunt of negative publicity amid investigations over its series of product recalls and problem rates per-vehicle.[115][116] 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 high-speed emergency turn.[117] Although the publication knew of no reported incidents, the GX 460 received updated stability control software.[117]

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.[118][119] 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.[120][121] 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.[122] 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 top-selling premium car brand.[122]

Lexus CT 200h Japan 2011 front
2010 CT 200h, first Lexus hatchback

Cumulative sales results for 2011 indicated a 14 percent sales drop in the U.S. market,[123] along with sales increases of 40 percent and 27 percent in Europe and Japan respectively,[124][125] for a global sales total of 410,000 units.[126] Lexus' streak of 11 consecutive years as the best-selling luxury marque in the U.S. ended that year, with the title going to BMW followed by Mercedes-Benz.[127] While 45 percent of Lexus sales in the U.S. in 2011 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.[128] 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.[127][128]

In January 2012, the marque began sales of the fourth generation GS line, including GS 350 and GS 450h variants, as well as a lower-displacement GS 250 model for select markets.[129] In April 2012, the sixth generation ES line, include ES 350 and ES 300h variants, debuted at the New York International Auto Show.[130]

In April 2014, Lexus unveiled the five-seater NX crossover. The vehicle features a very first for a Lexus vehicle: a turbocharger. Its nomenclature is denoted as the 200t. In August 2014, Toyota announced it would be cutting its Lexus spare parts prices in China by up to 35 percent. 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 into what the Chinese regulator considers exorbitantly high prices being charged by automakers for spare parts and after-sales servicing.[131]

2017-03-07 Geneva Motor Show 1217
2018 Lexus LS 500h

In March 2016, Lexus announced that it will be producing a new flagship vehicle: the two-door LC 500. The vehicle will be produced for late 2017 in a V8 version putting out 467 horsepower. The LC 500h, a V6 hybrid variant, could potentially become available in late 2017 or early 2018.

In April 2019, Lexus announced that a rebadged limousine version of the third-generation Alphard would be sold as the Lexus LM.[132]

Corporate affairs

Total sales and production
Regional sales, 2011 Units
Japan[125] 42,365
China[133] 56,303
Europe[124] 43,637
United States[123] 198,552
Type production, 2010 Units
Passenger vehicles 205,070
Crossover SUVs 159,560
Hybrid vehicles 66,226
Line production, 2010 Units
Japan production[134] 283,012
Canada production[135] 81,618
Total 364,630

Operations

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 and Marketing and global Product and Marketing Planning divisions.[137][139] While organizationally separate from its parent company, Lexus International reports directly to Toyota chief executive officer Akio Toyoda.[126]

In the U.S., Lexus operations are headed by David Christ, group vice president and general manager of the U.S. Lexus division, located in Plano, Texas.[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 Japan,[143] with the head design studio devoted entirely to Lexus models in Toyota City, Aichi.[143][144]

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,[122] with separately owned and operated Lexus showrooms.[145] By contrast, in Japan all 143 dealerships in the country are owned and operated by Lexus.[77] Several markets have a designated, third party regional distributor; for example, in the United Arab Emirates, sales operations are managed by Al-Futtaim Motors LLC,[81] and in Costa Rica, Lexus vehicles are sold via regional distributor Purdy Motors S.A.[146] Other officially sanctioned regional distributors have sold Lexus models prior to the launch of, or in absence of, a dedicated dealership network.[86]

The Lexus brand launched in the Indian market in 2017,[147] with the models RX450h, LX450d, LX570, ES300h,[148] NX, LS.[149] Dealerships in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore became operational in March 2017, when the brand began sales in India. A second set of dealerships will be in Chandigarh, Cochin and Chennai and will be operational toward the end of 2017.[148] This made Lexus the fifth luxury brand to be launched in India, after Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW and Audi.

Sales

Global sales of Lexus vehicles reached an all-time high in 2007, with a total of 518,000. Sales decreased in subsequent years due to the effects of the 2008 recession and the Japanese tsunami of 2011. Following this, sales recovered and reached a new high of 523,000 in 2013.[150]

In 2014, the Lexus brand set a new global sales record after selling 582,000 vehicles. This made Lexus the fourth best selling luxury brand in the world, trailing BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.[151]

Lexus College1
Fuji Lexus College, training facility for dealers in Shizuoka, Japan

Global sales of Lexus vehicles increased by 12 percent in 2015 to reach another annual sales record with 652,000 units sold worldwide.[152]

Global cumulative sales of Lexus brand hybrid electric cars reached the 500,000 mark in November 2012.[153] The 1 million sales milestone was achieved in March 2016.[154] The Lexus RX 400h/RX 450h ranks as the top selling Lexus hybrid with 335,000 units delivered worldwide as of March 2016, followed by the Lexus CT 200h with 267,000 units.[154]

Lexus has not sold as well in Europe, where it suffers from smaller brand recognition, image, and a less-developed dealership network.[155] In European markets, the Lexus LS has ranked behind Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW in flagship luxury car sales.[156] Automotive analysts have suggested a possible rationale for the sales disparity, in that European buyers place less emphasis on vehicle reliability and have more brand loyalty to established domestic marques.[155] In contrast, the Lexus LS has ranked second in sales to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (and ahead of rivals from BMW, Audi, and Jaguar) in markets outside Europe, such as South Africa.[157]

Currently all of Lexus's models for the US market are imported from Japan, with the exception of the RX, which is also produced in Cambridge, Ontario for North America, and the ES, which is also produced in Georgetown, Kentucky. The RX midsized crossover is Lexus's best selling model in the United States, while the ES mid-sized car is the most popular sedan in the line-up.

Calendar Year Europe[158] US (Market share %)[159]
2017 44,944 Decrease305,229 (Decrease1.77)
2016 44,287 Decrease331,228 (Decrease1.89)
2015 39,255 Increase344,601 (Increase1.97)
2014 31,479 Increase311,389 (Increase1.88)
2013 23,708 Increase273,847 (Increase1.76)
2012 26,820 Increase244,162 (Increase1.68)
2011 27,442 Decrease198,552 (Decrease1.55)
2010 19,185 Increase229,329 (Decrease1.98)
2009 20,629 Decrease215,975 (Increase2.07)
2008 29,682 Decrease260,087 (Decrease1.96)
2007 40,496 Increase329,177 (Increase2.07)
2006 40,337 Increase322,434 (Decrease1.95)
2005 23,340 Increase302,895 (Increase2.04)
2004 21,122 Increase287,927 (Increase1.70)
2003 18,318 Increase259,755 (Increase1.56)
2002 19,435 Increase234,109 (Increase1.40)
2001 21,357 Increase223,983 (Increase1.30)
2000 17,214 Increase206,037 (Increase1.20)
1999 15,800 Increase185,890 (Increase1.10)
1998 6,938 Increase156,260 (Increase1.00)
1997 3,408 Increase97,563 (Increase0.60)
1996 Decrease81,529 (Steady0.50)
1995 Decrease83,616 (Decrease0.50)
1994 Decrease91,554 (Decrease0.58)
1993 Increase99,280 (Decrease0.64)
1992 Increase92,890 (Increase0.69)
1991 Increase71,206 (Increase0.58)
1990 Increase63,534 (Increase0.46)
1989 Increase16,302 (Increase0.11)
1988 0 (0.00)

Financial performance

Financial data of Lexus operations are not disclosed publicly.[160] However, automotive analysts estimate that the Lexus division contributes a disproportionate share of Toyota's profits, relative to its limited production and sales volume.[160] 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.[160] Division executives have employed pricing strategies aimed at sustaining profit margins rather than sales volume, with historically fewer price incentives than rival brands.[160] In 2006, Lexus entered Interbrand's list of the Top 100 Global Brands for the first time, with an estimated brand value of approximately $3 billion annually.[161] In 2009, Interbrand ranked Lexus as Japan's seventh largest brand, between Panasonic and Nissan, based on revenue, earnings, and market value.[2]

Automobiles

Vehicle lineup

The global Lexus lineup features sedans of different size classes, including the compact IS and HS models, mid-size ES and GS models, and the full-size LS. The 2-door coupe range consists of the RC and the LC. Former convertibles include the SC and IS C models. Sport-utility vehicles range in size from the compact NX and RX crossover, to the mid-size GX and the full-size LX. Hybrid models include the CT hatchback, HS sedan, and variants of the GS, LS, LC, IS, NX and RX.[162] The F marque line formerly produced a variant of the IS and the LFA and currently produces a variant of the GS sedan and the RC coupe.[162]

F marque

Lexus F-division logo
Lexus F marque emblem

Lexus produces its highest-performance models under its F marque division.[95] The name refers to Flagship and Fuji Speedway in Japan, whose first corner, 27R, inspired the shape of the "F" emblem.[163] F marque models are developed by the Lexus Vehicle Performance Development Division.[164] The first F marque model, the IS F, went on sale in 2007, followed by the LFA in 2009.[109] A related F-Sport performance trim level and factory-sanctioned accessory line is available for standard Lexus models such as the IS 250 and IS 350.[96] 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 (decade).[165][166]

The latest additions to the performance F Sport marque include the Lexus RC F Sport and Lexus GS F Sport and Lexus LS F Sport.[167]

Model nomenclature

Lexus production models are named alphanumerically using two-letter designations followed by three digits. The first letter indicates relative status in the Lexus model range (ranking),[168] and the second letter refers to car body style or type[168] (e.g. LS for 'luxury sedan'). The three digits indicate engine displacement in liters multiplied by a factor of one hundred (e.g. 350 for a 3.5 L engine).[168] A space is used between the letters and numbers. The same letter may be used differently depending on the model; 'S' can refer to 'sedan'[168] or 'sport'[75] (e.g. in LS and SC), while 'X' refers to 'luxury utility vehicle' or SUV.[168][169] On hybrids, the three digits refer to the combined gasoline-electric output.[62] For certain models, a lower case letter placed after the alphanumeric designation indicates powerplant type ('h' for hybrid, 'd' for diesel, 't' for turbocharged),[110] while capital letter(s) placed at the end indicates a class subtype (e.g. 'L' for long-wheelbase,[63] '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).[110]

Design and technology

Remote Touch lexus controller
Lexus Remote Touch controller

Lexus design has traditionally placed an emphasis on targeting specific vehicle development standards.[170] Since the marque's inception, design targets have ranged from aerodynamics and ride quality to interior ergonomics.[31][171] The backronym "IDEAL" ("Impressive, Dynamic, Elegant, Advanced, and Lasting") is used in the development process.[172] Each vehicle is designed according to approximately 500 specific product standards, known as "Lexus Musts," on criteria such as leather seat stitching.[173][174] Design elements from the marque's concept vehicle line, the LF series (including the 2003 LF-S and 2004 LF-C), have been incorporated in production models.[175][176]

Vehicle cabins have incorporated electroluminescent Optitron gauges,[177] SmartAccess, a smart key entry and startup system,[178] and multimedia features. Beginning with the 2010 RX and HS models, the Remote Touch system, featuring a computer mouse-like controller with haptic feedback, was introduced;[108][179] other models have featured touchscreen controls (through the 2009 model year) as a navigation screen interface.[178] 2014 saw the introduction of the next version of Lexus’ remote-touch innovations—the Remote Touch Interface Touchpad in the new RC Coupe.[180]

In 1989, Lexus became among the first premium car marques to equip models with premium audio systems, in partnership with stereo firm Nakamichi.[181][182] Since 2001, optional surround sound systems are offered via high-end audio purveyor Mark Levinson.[182] For reduced cabin noise, the first LS 400 introduced sandwich steel plating,[177] and later models added acoustic glass.[183] In 2006, the LS 460 debuted the first ceiling air diffusers and infrared body temperature sensors in a car.[184][185] Telematics services include G-Book with G-Link in Asia and Lexus Enform in North America.[186]

Lexus IS F 08
Eight-speed automatic transmission in the IS F and LS 460 Sport

In 2006, Lexus incorporated the first production eight-speed automatic transmission in an automobile with the LS 460,[184] 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.[62] In 2007, Lexus executives signaled intentions to equip further models with hybrid powertrains,[110] catering to demands for a decrease in both carbon pollution and oil reliance.[187] 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.[188]

Safety features on Lexus models range from stability and handling programs (Vehicle Stability Control and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management)[189] to backup cameras, swivel headlights, and sonar warning systems. The Lexus Pre-Collision System (PCS) integrates multiple safety systems.[189] 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.[184] 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.[190] Pre-2007 models came with a hidden manufacturer override option,[191] and updated European models allow operation in motion.[192]

Lexus LS 600h L powertrain cutaway
2006 LS 600h and LS 600h L in hybrid form

Production models in development have included convertibles, crossovers, and dedicated hybrids.[193][194] Under the F marque, Lexus plans to produce high-performance vehicles with its first expressions being the IS F and the LFA. Lexus officials have also discussed standard production model usage of varying platforms.[195] The LS uses a dedicated platform,[28] 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,[130] in both styling and powertrain design.[196] The Nürburgring test track in Germany has also seen Lexus prototype testing.[197]

L-finesse

Lexus introduced a new design language known as "L-finesse" in the mid-2000s with its LF series concepts and the 2006 Lexus GS.[198][199] L-finesse is represented by three Japanese kanji characters which translate as "Intriguing Elegance, Incisive Simplicity, and Seamless Anticipation".[199] Design characteristics, including a fastback profile, lower-set grille,[200] and the use of both convex and concave surfaces,[200] are derived from Japanese cultural motifs (e.g. the phrase kirikaeshi in arrowhead shapes).[201] While earlier Lexus models were criticized for reserved and derivative styling, and often mistaken for understated domestic market cars,[200] automotive design analyses described L-finesse as adding a distinctive nature and embrace of Japanese design identity.[198][199] Opinions varied for L-finesse's debut on the GS; Sports Car International's analysis praised the vehicle's in-person appearance;[202] Automobile Magazine criticized the daring of its forward styling,[203] and compared subsequent rival models for design similarities.[204] 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 forthcoming Lexus models.[138] L-finesse exhibitions were presented at Milan's Salone del Mobile from 2005 through 2009.[205]

Production

Assembly plants

Lexus Automobile Lineup 2007
Lexus models produced by the Tahara plant in Aichi, Japan

The first Lexus vehicles were manufactured in Toyota's Tahara plant, a highly sophisticated, computerized manufacturing plant in Japan.[162][206] Lexus production techniques include methods and standards of quality control that differ from Toyota models.[207][208] At the Tahara plant, separate assembly lines were developed for Lexus vehicles,[209][210] along with new molds and specialized manufacturing equipment.[210] Welding processes, body panel fit tolerances, and paint quality requirements are more stringent.[207][211] Lexus plant workers, typically veteran technicians, are identified via repeated performance evaluations and ranked according to skill grade, with limited applicants accepted.[212] 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.[63] Production vehicles are given visual inspections for flaws, individually test-driven at high speeds, and subjected to vibration tests.[207]

Through the 2000s (decade), most Lexus sedan and SUV production has occurred in Japan at the Tahara plant in Aichi and Miyata plant in Fukuoka.[67][162] 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.[67][162] Front-wheel drive cars, such as the ES and HS, are produced in the Fukuoka Prefecture.[162] 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.[213] The North American–market RX 350 (since the 2004 model year) is produced at the Cambridge plant (Toyota Canada, Inc.) in the city of Cambridge, in Ontario, Canada, which is the first Lexus production site located outside Japan. In late 2015, Lexus started to assemble North American-spec ES 350 sedans at the Georgetown plant (TMMK, Inc.).[214]

Assembly sites by model[67][162]
Plant Owner Location Model(s)
Tahara Toyota Motor Corp. Tahara, Aichi Prefecture LS, GS, IS, GX, RC,

NX

Tsutsumi Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture ES
Kokura Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc. Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture CT, HS, RX
Miyata Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc. Miyawaka, Fukuoka Prefecture ES, IS, RX, NX, UX
Motomachi Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture LFA, LC
Higashi Fuji Kanto Auto Works, Ltd. Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture SC
Yoshiwara Toyota Auto Body Corp. Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture LX
Cambridge Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc.(TMMC) Cambridge, Ontario RX, RXh
Georgetown Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. Georgetown, Kentucky ES

Quality rankings

In the 2000s (decade), 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.[215][216]

Service

Lexus of Sapporo
Lexus dealership showroom in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Lexus has become known for efforts to provide 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.[217][218] Dealerships typically offer complimentary loaner cars or "courtesy cars" and free car washes,[218] and some have added on-site cafes and designer boutiques.[219][220] Service bays are lined with large picture windows for owners to watch the servicing of their vehicle.[221] 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.[222] An online owner publication, Lexus Magazine,[223] features automotive and lifestyle articles and is published online monthly[224] and on a mobile site.[225]

Since 2002, Lexus has scored consecutive top ratings in the Auto Express[226][227][228] and 76,000-respondent Top Gear customer satisfaction surveys in the UK.[229] Lexus has also repeatedly topped the 79,000-respondent J.D. Power Customer Service Index[230] and Luxury Institute, New York surveys in the U.S.[231] As a result of service satisfaction levels, the marque has one of the highest customer loyalty rates in the industry.[232] 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"),[233] and some dealerships have incorporated training at upscale establishments such as Nordstrom department stores and Ritz-Carlton hotels.[234]

Motorsport

Lexus LFAs 24h-Rennen Nürburgring 2010
Lexus campaigned at the 24 Hours Nürburgring

Lexus first entered the motorsport arena in 1999 when its racing unit, Team Lexus,[235] 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.[236] Led by Sports Car Club of America and International Motor Sports Association driver Chuck Goldsborough, based in Baltimore, Maryland,[237] 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, Arizona.[238] Team Lexus won its first IS 300 victory that year at the Virginia International Raceway.[238] In 2002, Team Lexus' competitive efforts in the Grand-Am Cup ST1 (Street Tuner) class achieved victories in the Drivers' and Team Championships,[236][237] as well as a sweep of the top three finishes at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada.[239]

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,[240] and drivers André Lotterer and Juichi Wakisaka raced the SC 430 to capture the GT500 championship for that year.[241] In 2007, another SC 430 won the GT500 opening round race.[242] 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.[243] Lexus Canada also entered the GS 450h in 2007's Targa Newfoundland event.[244] In 2009, Lexus Super GT Team SC 430 and IS 350 racers won the GT500 and GT300 championships, respectively.[245]

Lexus Rolex 24 Racing Ganassi racer
In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Lexus won the Rolex Sports Car Series Manufacturers' Championship

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.[246] In 2005, Lexus was runner-up, and in 2006, it won the championship.[247] 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.[248] In 2008, Lexus won its third consecutive win at Daytona.[249] For the 2010 season, Lexus departed from the Rolex Sports Car Series, and Ganassi Racing switched to BMW/Dinan engines.[250]

The LF-A prototype also competed on the Nürburgring from 2008 to 2011 in VLN endurance races[251] and in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, also with the IS F.[252] On 14 May 2011, a CT 200h tuned up by Gazoo Racing competed in the Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy, a six-hour endurance race.[253]

3GT Racing, a partnership of Lexus and Paul Gentilozzi, entered two Lexus RC F GT3 at the N.American 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GT Daytona class. Their first win came in the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Dominik Baumann and Kyle Marcelli at Mid-Ohio before winning again with the same pairing at Virginia International Raceway. Lexus finished in 8th in their first season in 2017 in the GT Daytona Manufacturer's Championship. They then improved to 5th in 2018 with the #14 achieving 5th and the #15 getting 10th in the Team's Championship.

For the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the running of the Lexus GT3 cars has been transferred to AIM Vasser Sullivan, which is a debuting partnership, where the driver pairing of Jack Hawksworth and Richard Heistand have currently achieved 2 wins at Mid-Ohio before winning the next race at Belle Isle. As of the result of Lime Rock Park, Lexus are second in the 2019 Manufacturer's Championship and the #12 is third with the #14 in 5th despite that being the winning car.

Marketing

Lexus 2054 Minority Report concept1
Lexus 2054, a concept model produced for the film Minority Report

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),[30][254] and accompanied by vehicles that performed unusual stunts onscreen.[255] The first decade of Lexus commercials (1989–99) consisted primarily of disjunctive verbal descriptions, such as "relentless," "pursuit," and "perfection,"[256] while vehicles were used to claim superiority in precision, idling, and interior quiet and comfort on camera.[255] Examples included the champagne glass "Balance" (1989) and rolling "Ball Bearing" (1992).[255] In the 2000s (decade), commercials included descriptions of features,[257] or a narration of the events onscreen, and were often targeted at the marque's German competitors.[258] An annual "December to Remember" campaign featured scenes of family members surprising loved ones with the gift of a new Lexus.[259] 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.[260]

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

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 mass-market cars.[6][34] A reputation for dependability, bolstered by reliability surveys, also became a primary factor in attracting new customers from rival premium makes.[261][262] Lexus has since grown to command higher price premiums than rival Japanese makes,[263] with new models further increasing in price and reaching the more than $100,000 ultra-luxury category long dominated by rival European marques.[264][265][266]

Automotive analysts have also noted Lexus' relative newcomer status as a marketing challenge for the brand,[267] although some have debated the requirement of a long history.[263][268] European rivals have marketed their decades of heritage and pedigree,[269] whereas Lexus' reputation rests primarily upon its perceived quality and shared history with parent company Toyota.[263] Several analysts have stated that Lexus will have to develop its own heritage over time by highlighting technological innovations and producing substantial products.[94][267]

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.[270][271] Lexus has organized an annual Champions for Charity golf series in the U.S. since 1989.[272] Endorsement contracts have also been signed with professional athletes Andy Roddick, Annika Sörenstam, and Peter Jacobsen.[273]

Since 2008, Lexus has run the video website L Studio. Shows on L Studio include Web Therapy.[274]

Lexus unveiled its new "Experience Amazing" tagline in the U.S. in a 60-second advertisement at the February 2017 Super Bowl LI.[275] The new tagline replaced Lexus's previous slogan, "The Pursuit of Perfection".[276]

On 30 March 2018, Lexus premiered a fake partnership with 23 and Me during a spot on Saturday Night Live, for a pretend program that allows buyers to customize vehicles based on their DNA, as an April Fool's Day joke.[277]

Lexus slogans

  • The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection (2001-2011)
  • The Pursuit of Perfection (2010-2016)
  • Amazing in Motion
  • Experience Amazing (2017–present)

See also

References

Notes

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Bibliography

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  • 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

Baton Rouge Pro Tennis Classic

The Baton Rouge Pro Tennis Classic was a professional tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. It was latterly part of the ATP Challenger Series and ATP Challenger Tour. It is held annually at the Lamar Tennis Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, as a Futures from 2006 to 2007 and a Challenger from 2008 until 2010.

LexisNexis

LexisNexis is a corporation providing computer-assisted legal research (CALR) as well as business research and risk management services. During the 1970s, LexisNexis pioneered the electronic accessibility of legal and journalistic documents. As of 2006, the company has the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information.

Lexus CT

The Lexus CT 200h (Japanese: レクサス・CT, Rekusasu CT) is a hybrid electric automobile introduced by Lexus as a premium sport compact hatchback. The CT is a luxury hybrid based on the Toyota Prius drivetrain and Toyota MC platform chassis, and is the first luxury compact and hatchback hybrid. It is the first production model in Lexus's family to introduce the "Spindle Grille" design as seen in its fascia. It made its debut at the March 2010 Geneva Auto Show, six months after the unveiling of the LF-Ch concept car; it is primarily targeted at the European market but is being sold worldwide and was introduced to North American markets at the April 2010 New York International Auto Show. Lexus has trademarked the names CT 200h, CT 300h, and CT 400h. The design by Takeshi Tanabe was approved in 2008 and patented on 11 September 2009.Production began at the end of December 2010 and European sales following shortly after. Japan sales began in 12 January 2011, while US sales began in March 2011. The CT has been discontinued in the US, with the 2017 model year being the last.Designated the model code A10, when fitted with ZR-series petrol engine with hybrid setup, the CT is known as the ZWA10. "CT" stands for "Creative Touring" and "200h" refers to the hybrid performance being equal to that of a conventional 2.0-litre engine. However, some Lexus importers use the backronymic name, "Compact Touring".

Lexus Cup

The Lexus Cup was an annual golf tournament played between 2005 and 2008 for professional women golfers contested by a team representing Asia and an international team representing the rest of the world. It was sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, but any winnings were unofficial and were not included in the LPGA money list standings.

The title sponsor was Lexus, a luxury automobile maker. It was one many new team golf tournaments founded on the model of the Ryder Cup since that tournament became a star attraction in golf in the 1980s. In women's golf it complemented the Solheim Cup, which is contested by teams from United States and Europe.

The inaugural Cup was held 9–11 December 2005, with a total purse of US$960,000 ($50,000 to each member of the winning team and $30,000 to members of the losing team).

In 2005, the two team captains were chosen early in the year and selected the players that made up their respective teams. Starting in 2006 a qualifying system was used, with each team composed of the top four players from the Women's World Golf Rankings, the top four remaining players from the ADT Official Money List, two sponsor's picks, and two captain's picks.The tournament was a series of match play matches played over three days, Friday through Sunday, with each golfer playing every day. The Friday schedule had six foursomes matches; Saturday had six four-balls; and 12 singles matches are played on Sunday. This was a format modified from the Presidents Cup. If the scores were tied at the end of the singles matches, the captains competed in a sudden-death playoff.

A foursomes match is a competition between two teams of two golfers. The golfers on the same team take alternate shots on each hole with the same ball, with one golfer teeing off on all odd-numbered holes and the other teeing off on even-numbered holes. Each hole is won by the team that completes the hole in the fewest strokes. A four-ball match is also a competition between two teams of two golfers, but all four golfers play their own balls throughout the round rather than alternating shots, and each hole is won by the team whose individual golfer has the lowest score. A singles match is a standard matchplay competition between two golfers.

Lexus ES

The Lexus ES (Japanese: レクサス・ES, Rekusasu ES) is a series of compact executive, then mid-size luxury cars sold by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota since 1989. Seven generations of the sedan have been introduced to date, each offering V6 engines and the front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. The first five generations of the ES were built on the Toyota Camry platform, with the sixth generation more closely related to the Avalon. Manual transmissions were offered until 1993, a lower-displacement inline-four engine became an option in Asian markets in 2010, and a gasoline-electric hybrid version was introduced in 2012. The ES was Lexus' only front-wheel drive vehicle until 1998, when the related Lexus RX was introduced, and the sedan occupied the entry-level luxury car segment of the Lexus lineup in North America and other regions until the debut of the Lexus IS in 1999. The ES name stands for "Executive Sedan". However, some Lexus importers use the backronymic name, "Elegant Sedan".Introduced in 1989, the first-generation ES 250 was one of two vehicles in Lexus' debut lineup, the other being the flagship LS 400. The second-generation ES 300 debuted in 1991, followed by the third-generation ES 300 in 1996, and the fourth-generation ES 300/330 in 2001. The first- through fourth-generation sedans shared body styling elements with Japan-market Toyota sedans, and a domestic market equivalent, the Toyota Windom, was sold until the launch of the fifth-generation ES in 2006. The word "Windom" is a combination of "win" and the suffix "dom" expresses a state of perpetual victory. The fifth-generation ES, featuring Lexus' own L-finesse body styling, debuted in early 2006 as a 2007 model. The sixth-generation ES debuted in the first half of 2012 as a 2013 model, and features increased cabin dimensions due to a longer wheelbase which is shared with the full-size Toyota Avalon.

Lexus has positioned the ES in the comfort luxury segment, with an emphasis on interior amenities, quietness, and ride quality, in contrast with more firm-riding sport sedans. Buyers seeking more performance-focused models are targeted by the Lexus IS and rival makes, with such models offering a sportier drive with differently tuned suspensions. In Europe, Japan, and other markets where it is not available, the GS sport sedans occupy the mid-size category in the Lexus lineup. In the United States, the Lexus ES has been the best-selling Lexus sedan for over fifteen years.

Lexus GS

The Lexus GS (Japanese: レクサス・GS, Rekusasu GS) is an executive car sold by Lexus, the premium division of Toyota. The same car launched in 1991 as the Toyota Aristo in Japan, but the Lexus-badged model did not appear until 1993. Now in its fourth generation, the GS sold under the Aristo name in Japan only until the release of the third generation model in 2005.

Designed as a performance sedan competing in the mid-luxury class, the GS slots between the compact executive IS and large/flagship LS, and shares its chassis with one of Toyota's longest-running platforms: the S-series which has been used under multiple generations of the Toyota Crown premium sedans.

Four generations of the GS have been produced since 1993, each available with six-cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive. V8 engines were offered in the second and third generations, and all-wheel drive and hybrid versions debuted in 2005. The first two generations had a Japanese domestic market equivalent, the Toyota Aristo (aristo is Greek for "the best"), which was sold from 1991 until the Lexus marque's domestic debut in 2005. Though largely identical in exterior and interior design, the GS and the Aristo differed in their engine and transmission combinations as well as equipment packages. The GS name stands for Grand Sedan. However, some Lexus importers use the backronymic name, Grand Sport.The first-generation Lexus GS began sales in the United States, Europe and selected markets in Asia in 1993, where it was introduced with an inline-6 engine and exterior bodywork designed by Italdesign Giugiaro. The second-generation model premiered in 1997, using a new platform, in-house styling, and adding a V8 version for the first time outside Japan. The third-generation GS, which premiered globally for the 2006 model year, was produced in V6, V8, and hybrid versions, the latter known as the GS 450h performance hybrid. The third-generation models were the first GS sedans to be sold domestically in Japan.

The fourth-generation Lexus GS premiered in August 2011 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, where models introduced included the V6-powered GS 350, hybrid GS 450h, and performance-tuned F Sport variants. A lower-displacement V6 model, the GS 250, premiered at the Auto Guangzhou Exhibition in November 2011, targeted at Asian and European markets. In some markets such as North America, the GS shares the mid-size sedan category in the Lexus lineup with the front-wheel drive ES.The GS was replaced in Europe by the Lexus ES from December 2018.

Lexus IS

The Lexus IS (Japanese: レクサス・IS, Rekusasu IS) is a compact executive car sold by Lexus since 1999. The IS was originally sold under the Toyota Altezza (Japanese: トヨタ・アルテッツァ, Toyota Arutettsua) nameplate in Japan from 1998 (the word Altezza is Italian for "highness"). The IS was introduced as an entry-level sport model positioned below the ES in the Lexus lineup.

The first-generation Altezza (codename XE10) was launched in Japan in October 1998, while the Lexus IS 200 (GXE10) made its debut in Europe in 1999 and in North America as the IS 300 (JCE10) in 2000. The first-generation, inline-6-powered IS featured sedan and wagon variants. The second-generation IS (codename XE20) was launched globally in 2005 with V6-powered IS 250 (GSE20) and IS 350 (GSE21) sedan models, followed by a high-performance V8 sedan version, the IS F, in 2007, and hardtop convertible versions, the IS 250 C and IS 350 C, in 2008. The third-generation Lexus IS premiered in January 2013 and includes the V6-powered IS 350 and IS 250, hybrid IS 300h and performance-tuned F Sport variants. The IS designation stands for Intelligent Sport.

Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA (Japanese: レクサス・LFA, Rekusasu LFA) is a two-seat sports car manufactured by Lexus, the luxury car division of Toyota. It is the second model in the F marque line of performance vehicles from Lexus, following the IS F. Three concept versions were unveiled, each debuting at the North American International Auto Show with the LF-A designation as part of the LF Series concept line. After beginning development in the early 2000s (with a codename of TXS), the first LF-A concept premiered in 2005, followed in 2007 by a second concept with a more completely furnished interior and exterior. The third version of the LF-A, featuring a roadster bodystyle premiered in 2008. The production model, trademarked LFA, was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009.Akio Toyoda, CEO of parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) saw the LFA as an opportunity to create a global icon for the Lexus brand, embodying Toyoda's idea that the ultimate Lexus should connect with its owner.The production version of the Lexus LFA features a 412 kW (560 PS; 553 hp) V10 engine developed in collaboration with Yamaha exclusive to the car and a body made from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). CFRP materials account for 65 percent of the LFA's body composition by mass. The LFA went into production in late 2010. A circuit-tuned variant debuted in 2012, and was one of the most expensive Japanese road cars ever built. Production ended in December 2012 with 500 cars produced, the final car being a Nürburgring Package model.In February 2016, Lexus' European boss Alain Uyttenhoven confirmed that there would be no new LFA replacement in the near future, stating: “The LFA is an icon now and possibly always will be - we don't need to replace it to keep that status. It is a car we can reference for another 25 years if we choose. Its status is assured." He went on to state: “It is possible that we will one day create another supercar, but in my view a super-high-end machine is not what we need right now."

Lexus LS

The Lexus LS (Japanese: レクサス・LS, Rekusasu LS) is a full-size luxury sedan (F-segment in Europe) serving as the flagship model of Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota. For the first four generations, all LS models featured V8 engines and were predominantly rear-wheel-drive, with Lexus also offering all-wheel-drive, hybrid, and long-wheelbase variants. The fifth generation changed to using a V6 engine with no V8 option, and only one length was offered.

As the first model developed by Lexus, the LS 400 debuted in January 1989 with the second generation debuting in November 1994. The LS 430 debuted in January 2000 and the LS 460/LS 460 L series in 2006. A domestic-market version of the LS 400 and LS 430, badged as Toyota Celsior (Japanese: トヨタ・セルシオ, Toyota Serushio), was sold in Japan until the Lexus marque was introduced there in 2006. In 2006 (for the 2007 model year) the fourth-generation LS 460 debuted the first production eight-speed automatic transmission and an automatic parking system. In 2007, V8 hybrid powertrains were introduced on the LS 600h/LS 600h L sedans.

Development of the LS began in 1983 as the F1 project, the code name for a secret flagship sedan. At the time, Toyota's two existing flagship models were the Crown and Century models - both of which catered exclusively for the Japanese market and had little global appeal that could compete with international luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Jaguar. The resulting sedan followed an extended five-year design process at a cost of over US$1 billion, and premiered with a new V8 engine and numerous luxury features. The Lexus LS was intended from its inception for export markets, and the Lexus division was formed to market and service the vehicle internationally. The original LS 400 debuted to strong sales, and was largely responsible for the successful launch of the Lexus marque.

Since the start of production, each generation of the Lexus LS has been manufactured in the Japanese city of Tahara, Aichi. The LS name stands for "Luxury Sedan". Some Lexus importers used the backronymic name, "Luxury Saloon".

Lexus LX

The Lexus LX (Japanese: レクサス・LX, Rekusasu LX) is a full-size luxury SUV sold by Lexus, a luxury division of Toyota since January 1996 having entered manufacture in November 1995. Three generations have been produced, all based heavily on the long-running Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs. The first generation LX 450 started production in 1995 as Lexus' first entry into the SUV market. Its successor, the LX 470, premiered in 1998 and was manufactured until 2007. The latest, third-generation, LX 570 debuted at the New York International Auto Show in April 2007 as a complete redesign for the 2008 model year. The LX name stands for "Luxury Crossover". However, some Lexus importers use the backronymic name, "Luxury Four Wheel Drive".The second and third generations had a V8 engine powertrain, a welded steel unibody shell combined with full-size steel ladder frame (body-on-frame construction), and seats for eight passengers (LX 470 and LX 570). The first generation LX 450, a mid-size SUV, had an inline-6 engine and seats for seven passengers. The second generation LX 470 shared exterior styling with the Land Cruiser Cygnus, sold in Japan. The LX is Lexus' largest and most expensive luxury SUV.

Lexus RC

The Lexus RC (Japanese: レクサス・RC, Rekusasu RC) is a compact executive two-door coupé manufactured by Lexus, Toyota's luxury division. The RC which according to Lexus stands for "Radical Coupe" is a two-door coupé version of the Lexus IS (XE30). The RC is designated as the XC10 series. The RC borrowed styling from the LF-LC concept and was previewed by the LF-CC concept, being designed as a proposal by Pansoo Kwon from 2010 to early 2012 and approved by supervising designers Yasuo Kajino and Tatsuya Takei.

Lexus RX

The Lexus RX (Japanese: レクサス・RX, Rekusasu RX) is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV sold since 1998 by Lexus, a luxury division of Toyota. Originally released in its home market of Japan in late 1997 as the Toyota Harrier, export sales began in March 1998 as the Lexus RX. Four generations of the Lexus RX have been produced to date, the first being compact in size, and the latter three classified as mid-size. Both front- and four-wheel drive configurations have been used on the RX series, and several gasoline powertrain options, including V6 engines and hybrid systems, have been offered. In the Lexus model lineup, the RX sits below the larger GX and LX (Known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and the Toyota Land Cruiser body-on-frame SUVs outside North America, and above the smaller NX crossover with a lower displacement inline-4 engine. The RX name stands for Radiant Crossover. It has also been labelled as "Recreation Cross Country" in some markets. The RX's current Toyota counterparts are the Highlander & Kluger; past counterparts were the Harrier and Venza.

The first-generation RX 300, fitted with a 3.0-liter V6 engine, began sales in 1998. The Japanese market Toyota Harrier released in 1997 also offered a 2.2-liter inline-four, later uprated to 2.4-liters. The second-generation RX 300 (3.0-liter V6) and RX 330 (3.3-liter V6) models went on sale in 2003, with both variants supplanted by the more powerful RX 350 (3.5-liter V6) in 2006. Like the previous series, a 2.4-liter inline-four engine was sold alongside the 3.0-liter V6 in the Japanese market Toyota Harrier. In 2005, a hybridized gasoline-electric version of the 3.3-liter second-generation model was made available as the RX 400h in export markets and as the Harrier Hybrid in Japan. For the third iteration released in 2009, both RX 350 (3.5-liter V6) and RX 450h (3.5-liter V6 hybrid) models were initially offered, with an entry-level RX 270 (2.7-liter inline-four) offered by Lexus in some Asian markets, including in Japan, since 2010. Since the release of the third generation, Japanese sales have occurred under the Lexus RX name as opposed to Toyota Harrier as had been the case previously.

The success of the Lexus RX has been particularly strong in the United States, where it has been the best-selling luxury SUV since its introduction. As one of the earliest luxury crossovers on the market, the RX has inspired similar competitors from rival marques. The Lexus RX is the top selling Lexus hybrid, with global sales of 335,000 units through March 2016, out of one million Lexus hybrids delivered since 2005.Manufacture of the RX has occurred at the Miyata plant in Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan since launch. The RX and RX Hybrid were the first Lexus models to be built outside Japan, with North American market versions produced at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada plant in Cambridge, Ontario beginning 2003 (RX) and expanded in 2014 (RX Hybrid). Hybrid transaxles are built at the Kokura plant in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka since 2009.

Lexus SC

The Lexus SC (Japanese: レクサス・SC, Rekusasu SC) is a grand tourer that was retailed by Lexus, and built from 1991 through 2010. It features a front engine, rear-wheel drive design and seating for up to four passengers. The first-generation SC debuted as the V8-powered (1UZ-FE) SC 400 in 1991, and the I6-powered SC 300 was added in 1992. Both first-generation models were produced until 2000. The second-generation model, the SC 430, went into production in 2001. The SC 430 features a hardtop convertible design and a V8 engine. The first-generation SC was largely styled in California at Calty, and the second-generation SC was mainly conceived at design studios in Europe.

In Japan, the related third-generation Toyota Soarer, with which the first-generation SC originally shared body design and multiple components, featured a separate line-up of vehicle configurations and different powertrains. The fourth-generation Soarer sport coupe, largely identical to the SC 430, was superseded by its Lexus counterpart in Japan when the Lexus marque débuted there in 2005. The SC was the sole coupé in the Lexus lineup until the arrival of the IS C. According to Lexus, the SC designation stands for Sport Coupe. The LC replaced the SC lineup in 2017.

SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup

The SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup is a year-long all-sports college competition between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans. While UCLA and USC have had a sports rivalry since the 1920s, the official yearly head-to-head all-sports competition began with the 2001–2002 season as the Lexus Gauntlet. After the 2008–2009 season, Lexus' sponsorship ended. For the next five seasons USC and UCLA continued to keep track of the scores and yearly winners. Without an official sponsor, the competition was referred to as the Crosstown Gauntlet from fall 2009 to spring 2014. Starting with the 2014–2015 season, the series was sponsored by The Southern California BMW Centers and renamed the SoCal BMW Crosstown Cup.During the original Lexus sponsorship, a Northern California version of the Gauntlet was held between Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley for three seasons.

TOM'S

TOM'S Co., Ltd (株式会社トムス, Kabushiki-gaisha Tomusu) is a factory supported racing team and tuner of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The name stands for Tachi Oiwa Motor Sport. Their head office is located in Tokyo, Japan. They are currently heavily involved with Super GT, Super Formula and Japanese Formula 3. TOM'S creates aftermarket parts for current Toyota vehicles, and have also created their own special edition of certain current Lexus models.

Toyota

Toyota Motor Corporation (Japanese: トヨタ自動車株式会社, Hepburn: Toyota Jidōsha KK, IPA: [toꜜjota], English: ) is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. In 2017, Toyota's corporate structure consisted of 364,445 employees worldwide and, as of September 2018, was the sixth-largest company in the world by revenue. As of 2017, Toyota is the largest automotive manufacturer. Toyota was the world's first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year which it has done since 2012, when it also reported the production of its 200-millionth vehicle. As of July 2014, Toyota was the largest listed company in Japan by market capitalization (worth more than twice as much as number 2-ranked SoftBank) and by revenue.Toyota is the world's market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, and one of the largest companies to encourage the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles across the globe. Toyota is also a market leader in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Cumulative global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid passenger car models achieved the 10 million milestone in January 2017. Its Prius family is the world's top selling hybrid nameplate with over 6 million units sold worldwide as of January 2017.The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and its first passenger car in 1936, the Toyota AA. Toyota Motor Corporation produces vehicles under five brands, including the Toyota brand, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Daihatsu. It also holds a 16.66% stake in Subaru Corporation, a 5.9% stake in Isuzu, a 5.5% stake in Mazda, as well as joint-ventures with two in China (GAC Toyota and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor), one in India (Toyota Kirloskar), one in the Czech Republic (TPCA), along with several "nonautomotive" companies. TMC is part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Japan.

Toyota is listed on the London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Toyota Harrier

The Toyota Harrier (Japanese: トヨタ・ハリアー, Toyota Hariā) is a mid-size crossover SUV sold since December 1997 by Toyota in Japan, and was exclusive to Toyopet Store Japanese dealerships. In export markets, the Harrier was rebadged as the Lexus RX from March 1998. At this stage, Toyota had yet to retail the Lexus brand to its Japanese customers.

The second generation model debuted in February 2003, along with the export Lexus version. The third generation Lexus RX arrived in late 2008, while the Harrier continued on in second generation form unchanged. Lexus had by now made its debut in Japan as an independent marque, thus the third generation RX was sold in the domestic market in the same livery as its export counterpart.

Toyota refreshed the Harrier in 2013, when it morphed into an independent model line constructed on a separate platform from the Lexus RX but retaining a visual link with the RX.

The Harrier is named for the eastern marsh harrier, a bird of prey common to Hokkaidō and northern Honshū called the chuki in Japanese, and an emblem depicting the bird in stylized profile can be found on the grille.

Toyota Soarer

The Toyota Soarer is a personal luxury GT coupé that was produced from 1981 to 2005 by Toyota and was sold in Japan. In Japan, it was available at both Toyota Japan dealerships called Toyota Store and Toyopet Store, and it débuted with the Z10 series, replacing the Toyopet Store exclusive Mark II Coupe, and the Toyota Store exclusive Crown Coupe.

In 1986, the Z20 series was launched, based on the then new A70 Supra platform. In 1991, the third-generation (Z30 series) Toyota Soarer premiered in Japan, while its Lexus equivalent, the SC 300/400 débuted in the US market.

While externally identical to the Lexus SC, the Z30 series Soarer lineup offered different powertrain specifications and multiple unique vehicle configurations. In 2001, Toyota introduced a convertible-only successor which appeared in Japan as the fourth-generation (Z40 series) Toyota Soarer, and elsewhere as the Lexus SC 430. In contrast to previous series, the fourth-generation Soarer and Lexus SC were based on a single model and were largely equivalent. In 2005, following the introduction of Lexus in Japan, the Soarer name and emblem were discontinued, and the Z40 became the Lexus SC 430 in common with worldwide markets.

In its home market the Soarer was a competitor to the Nissan Leopard, and Mazda Cosmo coupes, and served as Toyota's "halo car", introducing new technologies before they were installed on other Toyota products. All versions of the Soarer featured a unique winged lion emblem (often mistakenly called a Griffin) as the logo throughout the vehicle.

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Type Line 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Compact CT A10
IS XE10 XE20 XE30
HS ANF10
Mid-size ES V20 XV10 XV20 XV30 XV40 XV60 XZ10
GS S140 S160 S190 L10
Full-size LS XF10 XF20 XF30 XF40 XF50
Crossover UX ZA10
NX AZ10
RX XU10 XU30 AL10 AL20
SUV GX J120 J150
LX J80 J100 J200
Coupé RC XC10
SC Z30 Z40
LC Z100
LFA LFA10
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