Table of contents:
- The beginning of the history of the Japanese brand - 1983-1990
- Development of the brand and model range of the company - 1990s
- The development of the brand is currently - 2000-present
2023 Author: Charles Youmans | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-20 18:41
The Lexus car brand is owned by the Japanese manufacturer Toyota Motor. The division specializes in the production of luxury vehicles. At first, the models were supplied only to the American market, later the brand spread far beyond the borders of the States. At the moment, sales have been established in more than 70 countries. The central office is located in Nagoya (Japan).
The beginning of the history of the Japanese brand - 1983-1990
The history of Lexus began only in 1983. Thus, the company is recognized as one of the youngest in the Japanese auto business. That year, the chairman of the board of Toyota sets a goal - to make the best executive car, which would have no analogues in the world. In addition, during these years the fuel crisis that began in the 70s was fresh in the memory. Buyers again looked at expensive cars, and since most manufacturers refused to fill this segment, the road was open. In the 80s, premium, reliable and quality cars were given a second life. The trend was most evident in the United States. At that time, Toyota Motor was already actively engaged in the supply of reliable cars, but they could not be called luxury cars. At this moment, the management makes a decision on the formation of a division that would be able to cover an attractive part of the market.
Of course, in order to take such a risky financial step, experts began to extensively research the existing market. The lengthy design process led to heated debate among Toyota's management team. One part was convinced that a new brand was needed to create luxury cars, others insisted on retaining the name in order to make a universal brand, and by releasing expensive models to attract attention to cheap ones. A heated debate led to the need to conduct research within the exporting country. A house was rented in California, where designers and developers moved in 1985. During the year, they studied the tastes, lifestyle, and peculiarities of the life of potential buyers. As a result, they came to the conclusion that it was necessary to create a new brand and create a changed sales channel. This is how the Toyota division - Lexus appeared.
In 1986, the advertising agency, with which the parent company had long cooperated, Saatchi & Saatchi organized a separate "branch", which begins to create and promote the brand. A consulting company is also involved in the case, having prepared a list of 219 potential names. It was from them that the “applicants” for the title of the brand were chosen. These included Vectre, Verone, Chaparel, Caliber and Alexis. The stake was placed on the latter. However, the management raised doubts as to how appropriate it is to take a frequently used name? In addition, the popular TV series "Dynasty" with the character Alexis Carrington evoked unnecessary associations. After minor adjustments, the name changed to Lexus.
The development of the first car was attended by 60 designers, 1400 engineers, 220 support staff and 2300 mechanics. The investment amounted to more than $ 1 billion. But, despite all the difficulties, the project was completed. The huge company presented its first-born - Lexus LS 400. The stake in this model was made on the unique design and outstanding characteristics of Lexus. Rear-wheel drive was provided by a 4.0-liter V8 engine.
The model was presented at an exhibition in Detroit in 1989. The new Lexus LS 400 went on sale in September 1989. At the same time, deliveries were made to 81 dealers at the same time. Note that by that time the representative network was at its maximum developed, and advertising of the future "premium" was shown on TV, and printed publications tirelessly published an article about the upcoming novelty. By the time the sales began, the public was as "charged" as possible to buy. The Lexus was supposed to be bought by a motorist who appreciates rich equipment, excellent dynamics, economy and an ergonomic interior. At first, car critics complained about the quality of the suspension, which did not live up to expectations and did not meet the level of declared comfort.
Despite this, the magazines immediately identified the main competitors of the LS400 - outperforming the Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL and BMW 735i, which indicated a high result of the work. These models were compared for handling, performance and ride comfort. In most of the research and test drives, Lexus took the lead. This fact did not go unnoticed: the company received the award for the best imported car of the year, the title of leader in the car rating from J. D. Power and Associates. German manufacturers did not expect such a powerful competitor to appear, so the sharp decline in sales (BMW lost 29%, and Mercedes - 19%) caused severe damage to the financial component of these companies.
In December 1989, there is a massive recall program based on two complaints from Lexus customers. Reviews began due to identified wiring defects. At the same time, the action was voluntary. The automaker, wishing to preserve its image, offered a 20-day operation, where the brand employees independently pick up the car, repair it and return it to the owner. The company also bears the costs of possible flights to service vehicles whose owners live in remote locations. It was the competent actions of the management that made it possible to attract the maximum amount of attention. Newspaper headlines extolled the high standard of service. By 1989, sales were strong for the Lexus EC 250 segment and the LS 400 was sold 16,392 times in total. The following year, total sales reached 63,594 vehicles. After that, Lexus enters the Canadian, Swiss, Australian and British markets.
Development of the brand and model range of the company - 1990s
In mid-1991, the Japanese presented a new model, the SC 400 sports coupe, which retained the Lexus LS 400 engines. The dynamics were improved: the speed of 100 km / h was reached in 6, 9 seconds. After that, the second generation ES 250 - ES 300 from Lexus appears on the market. The photos prove that the new sedan was bright and expressive, which was the reason for the sales records. It is believed that this model has become the best-selling representative of the brand.
In 1992, the company received two awards from Car and Driver and Automobile Magazine for the creation of the CA400 and EC300. The brand bypasses the promoted German brands in sales. Lexus becomes the leading importer in the American market. An updated version of the LS appears on the market by September. According to the engineers, they fixed 50 elements.
January 1993 will be remembered by fans for the appearance of the bright Lexus GS 300. Giorgetto Giugiaro himself had a hand in the design. A year later, the novelty was sold in Europe after being presented at the Frankfurt Salon. Despite the brand's popularity, it is still under the leadership of Toyota, so Toyota S is used as a platform donor.
The second generation LS400 hits the market in 1994. Fans have seen a redesigned version of the flagship version. At this time, the brand itself wins the fifth victory in the J. D. Power and Associates for customer satisfaction.
By 1995, the manufacturer began to realize the need for a premium SUV and the Lexus LX 450 was born. By and large, it was a redesigned premium version of the Toyota Land Cruiser. It is worth saying that the continuity has made it possible to adopt the best moments, including all-terrain characteristics. In two months, a huge number of cars were bought, the number of which surpassed the indicators of Range Rover. The model was developed in record time, as the US government was preparing a project to introduce a 100% state duty on premium Japanese cars in order to protect its own car brands. As a result, the duty extended to the entire Lexus range. The lineup did not contain SUVs, so this category remained tax-free, which the Japanese took advantage of.
It is noted that due to customer loyalty, Lexus was financially pulled out. The performance of the SUV was based on a 4.5-liter 4-valve engine, which at full load produced 215 horsepower. It differed from the LC from Toyota in its profile lining, radiator grille, wheels and improved "noise". Despite the increase in the cost of the leadership of Lexus, the price of which was already solid, they decided to expand the geography.
In 1997, another HPS concept was presented in Detroit. It was distinguished not only by the 4.0 liter V8, but also by the emergence of the innovative VVT-i system. It was the prototype of the next generation of the future GS 300 sedan. At this time, the SLV concept is being exhibited in Chicago, which revolutionizes the idea of comfortable cars: it manages to combine the off-road properties of crossovers and the convenience of a premium sedan. So, in 1998, sales of the Lexus PX 300 started. Under the hood, a three-liter engine is installed, which is aggregated by an automatic transmission in 4 stages. The engineers managed to competently combine the characteristics of an SUV, a sedan and a station wagon, which made this car the most luxurious cross on the market. In 1998, the Lexus IS sports business car appeared. Sales begin in Brazil, and by 1999, the millionth car has been sold.
The development of the brand is currently - 2000-present
Sales of Lexus are gaining momentum since the introduction of the IS sports sedans in 2000. The main thesis during the creation was to get maximum performance from luxury cars. As a result, in 2001 the first cabriolet of the brand, the SC 430, and the third generation of the LS 430, appeared. In connection with the emergence of luxury innovations, Lexus should be considered as an ultramodern brand.
In 2003, the first Lexus appears - a hybrid. This is the 400h RX model. It can be attributed to the already existing 330 and 350 family, but with a difference in the radiator grille, the appearance of round foglights and LEDs in the rear optics. The Lexus Hybrid Drive system is used, which makes Lexus consumption less, the power of the transmission is increased, and the emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere is reduced. In the same year, it appears on the map Lexus - Russia. By that time (2005), the company begins to separate from Toyota. In this regard, the management recognizes the lack of dealer networks. In Europe and Russia, only a few dealers were involved in deliveries. As a result, it was necessary not only to expand the engine range by means of hybrid and diesel installations, but also to deal with the issue of sales.
In 2006, the company entered the super-luxury level. Since then, it has sold on par with giants such as Polls-Royce, Maybach and Bentley. Rumors emerge this year that Lexus plans to release a limousine to replace the Toyota Century in the family. In 2014, the premium compact crossover Lexus HX was introduced. After the exhibition in Beijing, the manufacturer added three modifications to the lineup: classic - 200, hybrid - 300h, and turbocharged 200t from Lexus. The configurations were also presented in several versions, which allows customers to maximally satisfy the needs for the functionality and dynamics of the machine, choosing the appropriate option, both in terms of price and characteristics.
In general, the history of Lexus 2019 continues. The highly successful brand is not limited to the US market. Now you can buy luxury cars all over the world. The brand continues to receive awards and prizes, it is hardly possible to calculate how many Lexus occupied the top positions of the ratings. Laudatory reviews are left not only by experts, but also by fans of the brand. The brightest of them enhance the appearance, carry out tuning Lexus, although the latter does not need serious improvements.
At the moment, automated production is considered one of the best in the world. The production of luxury cars is currently the manufacturer at the Tahara plant. The peculiarity of the production is complete sterility. Upon entering the production hall, all employees go through an air shower, which removes all dust from clothing. Interesting fact: every 87 seconds, one car descends from the assembly line.