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Lexus History

Source: Lexus

Established in the early 1980s and launched in 1989, the Lexus marque soon became associated with quality, luxury and superior customer satisfaction. The brand reputation grew quickly until, barely a dozen years after its founding, Lexus became America's best-selling line of luxury motor vehicles.

Lexus belongs to the global Toyota family, whose members together constitute the world's third-leading automaker.

History
August 1983
At a top-level, top-secret meeting, Toyota Chairman Eiji Toyoda determines the time is right to create a luxury vehicle to challenge the world's best.

May 1985
A study team visits the U.S. to conduct focus groups while a design team moves to California to develop concepts.


July 1985
The first of the LS 400 running prototypes is built.

May 1986
Performance testing begins on the Autobahn in Germany.

September 1986
Extensive testing on American roads begins.

May 1987
Management approves the final design of the LS 400.

January 1989
The LS 400 and ES 250 are unveiled to the world at Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows.

September 1989
The LS 400 and ES 250 go on sale.

January 1990
The LS 400 is named a Car and Driver 10Best.

February 1990
The Motoring Press Association names the LS 400 Best Imported Car of the Year.

July 1990
Lexus first appears in a J.D. Power and Associates study, ranked as the #1 Carline in the Initial Quality Study (IQS).SM

May 1991
Lexus unveils the first new addition to its product line, the SC 400.

August 1991
The SC 300 is introduced.
Lexus sweeps the J.D. Power and Associates studies, topping the Customer Satisfaction StudySM as the #1 Carline, the Initial Quality Study (IQS)SM as the Best Overall Carline, and the Sales Satisfaction StudySM as the Best Overall Carline.

September 1991
The ES 300 replaces the ES 250.

January 1992
The SC 400 and ES 300 are named Automobile Magazine All-Stars, and SC 400 a Car and Driver 10Best. Lexus outsells BMW and Mercedes-Benz to become the number-one luxury import.

March 1992
Motor Trend and the Motoring Press Association name the SC 400 Import Car of the Year.

July 1992
Lexus again tops the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction StudySM as the #1 Carline, and the Sales Satisfaction StudySM as the Best Overall Carline.

September 1992
A freshened LS 400 appears with more than 50 changes, many as a direct response to dealer and customer requests.

January 1993
Lexus introduces its first luxury performance sedan, the GS 300. The SC 300 is named to the Car and Driver 10Best list and to Automobile Magazine's All-Star list.

June 1993
The LS 400 is named the Best Import Car for 1993 by The Robb Report.

July 1993
For the third year in a row, Lexus is ranked as the #1 Carline in the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction Study.SM

February 1994
Lexus is ranked as the Best Overall Carline in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Performance Study,SM reflecting satisfaction after three years of ownership.

May 1994
Lexus sweeps the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS),SM with the Best Overall Carline ranking.

July 1994
Lexus is ranked as the #1 Carline in the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction StudySM for the fourth straight year and as the Best Overall Carline in Sales Satisfaction for the third time in four years.

November 1994
The redesigned second-generation LS 400 goes on sale.

December 1994
The new LS 400 is designated Best of What's New by Popular Science.

January 1995
The SC 300 is named a Car and Driver 10Best. The LS 400 receives Popular Mechanics' Design and Engineering Award. And Lexus was the best-selling luxury import in 1994.

March 1995
In its first year of eligibility, Lexus is ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as the Best Overall Carline in Vehicle DependabilitySM after five years of ownership.

July 1995
For an unprecedented fifth consecutive year, Lexus ranks as the #1 Carline in the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction Study.SM

January 1996
Lexus introduces the LX 450 luxury sport-utility vehicle. Just two months later, it climbs to the top of the luxury SUV segment, surpassing Range Rover in units sold.

March 1996
In its second year of eligibility, Lexus is again ranked first by J.D. Power and Associates as the Best Overall Carline in Vehicle DependabilitySM after five years of ownership.

May 1996
The ES 300 and SC 400/300 rank as the Best Entry Luxury Car and Best Premium Luxury Car, respectively, in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS).SM

June 1996
Lexus is ranked a Best Overall Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Satisfaction Index.SM

July 1996
The LS 400 is named one of the Twenty-Four Most Important Automobiles of the Century by Automobile Magazine.

September 1996
A more luxurious, more powerful, second-generation ES 300 is introduced. LS 400 is ranked Most Appealing Premium Luxury Car in the J.D. Power and Associates APEAL study.SM

February 1997
SC 300 named an Automobile Magazine All-Star for the fifth time.

March 1997
For the third consecutive year, Lexus ranks as the #1 Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study,SM registering the fewest problems after five years of ownership.

July 1997
For the sixth time, Lexus ranks as the #1 Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction Study.SM

October 1997
Dramatically more powerful GS line introduced, with the V8-powered GS 400 joining the GS 300. LS 400 gets a more powerful V8 and new appearance.

December 1997
The GS line is named Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year.

January 1998
Lexus unveils a new breed of SUV, the RX 300, at the North American International Auto Show. Along with the more powerful LX 470, this creates the ultimate luxury SUV line.

April 1998
Lexus once again is named the #1 Nameplate in long-term dependability after five years of ownership by the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Index.SM Lexus has earned this honor every year it's been eligible.

October 1998
The RX 300 becomes the first SUV to be named Sport/Utility of the Year by Motor Trend magazine, which creates the new category in recognition of the immense popularity of SUVs.

January 1999
The GS 400/300 is honored as one of Car and Driver's 10Best.

March 1999
Lexus is the #1 Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability IndexSM for the fifth straight year.

July 1999
Lexus ranks as the #1 Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction IndexSM for the eighth time in nine years.

September 1999
Lexus celebrates the 10th anniversary of its first vehicle going on sale in the U.S.

November 1999
Lexus sells its millionth vehicle in the U.S.

December 1999
For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus posts best-ever annual sales.

June 2000
Lexus launches a car to rock the performance sedan world: the IS 300.

October 2000
The all-new LS 430 flagship sedan launches.

November 2000
Lexus is the #1 Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Index (VDI)SM for the sixth straight year.

March 2001
A historical union of love and power: The 2002 Lexus SC 430 is launched.

August 2001
Launch of the power-potent 2002 IS 300 5-Speed and SportCross.

October 2001
Lexus redefines luxury with the launch of the 2002 ES 300.

October 2001
Lexus finishes first in all three luxury car categories in the J.D. Power and Associates 2001 Automotive, Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.SM The Lexus LS 430 is ranked Most Appealing Premium Luxury Car, the GS 430 and GS 300 are ranked Most Appealing Mid Luxury Car, and the ES 300 is ranked Most Appealing Entry Luxury Car.

November 2001
Lexus is awarded the #1 Nameplate in Long-Term Dependability in the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Index (VDI)SM for the seventh year in a row.

August 2002
The Lexus LS 430 ranks as the Best Premium Luxury Car in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS)SM for the sixth year in a row.

November 2002
A new kind of adventure begins with the launch of the ruggedly luxurious 2003 Lexus GX 470.

March 2003
The entirely new Lexus RX 330 has arrived, offering a stunning combination of style, technology and luxury.

May 2003
For the seventh consecutive year, the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS)SM names the LS the Highest Ranked Premium Luxury Car. The same study also designates the GS as the Highest Ranked Mid Luxury Car, while the ES earns the title of Highest Ranked Entry Luxury Car.

April 2004
For the second year in a row, the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS)SM names the GS as the Highest Ranked Mid Luxury Car and the RX as the Highest Ranked Entry Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle. Additionally, the SC was voted Highest Ranked Premium Luxury Car and the LX was dubbed the Highest Ranked Premium Sport Utility Vehicle.

May 2004
Three's a charm, as IntelliChoice magazine chooses the LS and ES as Best Overall Values in their categories, and the RX as the Best SUV Over $30,000.

March 2005
Euphoria is the perfect word to describe the introduction of the powerful all-new 2006 GS, loaded with breakthrough innovations in performance and luxury.
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