A Brief history of Lexus
In 1983, the Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda, posed a question to the top executives at Toyota, could they produce a luxury vehicle that could rival the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Five years later the answer was launched in the form of the Lexus LS 400. The rest, as they say, is history.
Launched with a massive advertising campaign in the US, the LS 400 was citicised for being too bland by some motoring journalists, however these hacks soon found themselves in a minority as people experienced the new Lexus, the build quality was second to none with an engine that was almost silent and the price, performance and economy were all competitive when compared to its rivals. In fact the LS 400 went on to win several motoring awards after its release.
Bouyed by this success, Toyota quickly rolled out the Lexus product to other marketplaces, 1990 saw the lauch of the Lexus brand in the UK, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. Customer satisfaction and impressive sales soon pushed the Lexus marque up to the number one spot as the luxury car manufacture in the US.
More models followed and in 2005 lexus made a move into the hybrid market with the launch of the RX 400h, the worlds first luxury hybrid SUV, low emissions and high fuel efficiency, combined with the performance normally associated with a high powered petrol engine, have put the RX 400h into a class of its own and following this success Lexus have gone on to produce more luxury hybrid cars.
Facelifted and upgraded on four separate occassions the latest version of the LS is the LS 460, still collecting awards, the latest new Lexus has recently won the International Car of the Year and World Car of the Year in 2007.
Now recognised as one of the top manufacturers of luxury vehicles in the world, Lexus has now opened a performance division and new F-series Lexus cars will be launched in the US towards the end of 2007. This new range of cars will be designed to rival the BMW M Series and the Mercedes AMG models, hopefully it wont be too long before we see these new models in the UK.