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Lexus (Japanese: レクサス,, Rekusasu?) is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. First introduced in the United States, where Lexus has become the highest-selling make of luxury car, today Lexus brand name vehicles are available throughout the world. In 2005, the Lexus marque launched in Japan, marking the continued global expansion of the luxury division.

Lexus originated from a clandestine flagship sedan project that began in 1983. This effort developed into the original Lexus LS, which was the first vehicle to wear the Lexus marque upon its launch in 1989. In subsequent years, Lexus added sedan, coupe, and SUV models. Hybrid drivetrains arrived in 2005, and the F marque performance division debuted in 2007. From the start of production, Lexus vehicles have been consistently produced in Japan, with manufacturing centered in the Chūbu and Kyūshū regions. Assembly of the first Lexus built outside the country, the Ontario, Canada-produced RX, began in 2003.

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Lexus Sc400Lexus Es300Lexus Gs350Lexus Ls400Lexus Rx300Lexus Gx470Lexus Rx330

Lexus models

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2011 lexus ct200hCT200H

1990 lexus es250ES250

1994 lexus es300ES300

2003 lexus es350ES350

2012 lexus gs250GS250

1993 lexus gs300GS300

2003 lexus gs350GS350

1996 lexus gs430GS430

2006 lexus gs450hGS450H

2008 lexus gs460GS460

2009 lexus gx460GX460

2000 lexus gx470GX470

1998 lexus is200IS200

1999 lexus is250IS250

2011 lexus is250cIS250C

2000 lexus is300IS300

2005 lexus is350IS350

2008 lexus is fIS F

1992 lexus ls400LS400

2000 lexus ls430LS430

2006 lexus ls460LS460

2008 lexus ls600hLS600H

2007 lexus ls600hlLS600HL

1996 lexus lx450LX450

1994 lexus lx470LX470

2004 lexus lx570LX570

2010 lexus rx270RX270

1964 lexus rx300RX300

2000 lexus rx330RX330

2000 lexus rx350RX350

2005 lexus rx400hRX400H

2009 lexus rx450hRX450H

1995 lexus sc300SC300

1991 lexus sc400SC400

2001 lexus sc430SC430

Since 1989, Lexus has developed a reputation for vehicle reliability and customer service, as measured by independent surveys. In 2008, consumer ratings firm J.D. Power and Associates named Lexus the most reliable brand in the U.S. for the fourteenth year, based on its Vehicle Dependability Survey, a measure of over 53,000 vehicle owners and problems experienced in the first three years of vehicle ownership. Through 2008, Consumer Reports has also named Lexus among the top five most reliable brands in its Annual Car Reliability Surveys of over one million vehicles across the U.S.

The Lexus slogan is The Pursuit of Perfection.

The F1 project

In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda summoned a secret meeting of company executives, to whom he posed the question, “Can we create a luxury vehicle to challenge the world's best?” This question prompted Toyota to embark on a top-secret project, code-named F1 (“Flagship” + “No. 1 vehicle”). The F1 project, whose finished product was ultimately the Lexus LS 400, aimed to develop a luxury car that would expand Toyota’s product line, giving it a foothold in the premium segment and offering both longtime and new customers an upmarket product. The F1 project followed the success of the Toyota Supra sports car and the luxury Toyota Cressida models. Both the Supra and Cressida were rear-wheel drive cars with a powerful 7M-GE/7M-GTE engine. The U.S. launch of the Acura marque by Honda three years prior also influenced Toyota in its plans for a luxury division. Around this same time, Nissan would unveil plans to create its own luxury division, Infiniti, while Mazda also considered developing a luxury division, to be called Amati.

Toyota researchers visited the U.S. in May 1985 to conduct focus groups and market research on luxury consumers. That summer, several F1 designers rented a home in Laguna Beach, California to observe the lifestyles and tastes of American upper-class consumers. Toyota’s market research concluded that a separate brand and sales channel were needed to present its new luxury flagship, and plans were made to develop a new network of dealerships in the U.S. market.

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