Who Makes Lexus Automobiles?

by Michael J. BeymanUpdated September 26, 2017
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Lexus is the luxury marquee of Toyota Motor Corporation. Since its conception in 1983, and its launch in 1989, Lexus has developed some of the most reliable and awarded vehicles in the world. Lexus operates independently of its parent company, though its profits are counted in Toyota's overall performance. In 2013, buoyed by a resurgent U.S. economy, the company sold over 520,000 vehicles for its best-ever total.


Lexus began as the G1 project in 1983. Toyota attempted to challenge itself to build a luxury vehicle that would effectively compete with international luxury automobiles. Toyota spent billions of dollars and six years developing what would become the LS400. After market research, the company concluded it would need to develop a new marque outside of its Toyota brand to effectively market the car.

The Lexus Name

The Lexus name evolved from nearly 200 choices proposed by the image consulting firm Lippincott & Margulies. The Lexus name evolved out of the original leading choice, Alexis. While Lexus officially has no meaning, it has been attached with the acronym "Luxury Export to the United States."

Manufacturing Locations

Lexus currently manufactures automobiles in five locations. Four of its plants--Tahara, Miyata, Higashi Fuji and Sanage--are located in Japan. Lexus's first plant outside Japan is in Cambridge, Ontario. Lexus's Tahara plant has continuously been recognized for producing vehicles with the fewest defects in the world.

Corporate Structure

Lexus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. It currently operates as an independent division of Toyota, designing and manufacturing its own cars, though it does share some platforms and engineering resources with its parent company. The company operates divisions within Japan, the United States and Europe.

Awards and Recognition

Lexus is amongst the highest awarded vehicle brands in the United States. Lexus has continually topped surveys for highest initial quality for its entire vehicle line. Its flagship car, the LS sedan, has won dozens of awards since the brand's first model year in 1990. In 2013 it ranked first in J.D. Power and Associates' annual survey of new car quality, for the sixth consecutive year and 13th time in 16 years. In 2009, the LS 460 earned a score of 99 out of a possible 100 in testing by Consumer Reports magazine.

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