The Lexus brand was created out of the desire by parent company Toyota, to create a world-class luxury car brand to compete with luxury American brands.
The company used U.S. focus groups in the mid 80s to ascertain design concepts best suited for American consumers and had prototypes built and tested on Germany's Autobahn and on U.S. roads.
The company unveiled its first two models -- the entry-level ES 250 sedan and the flagship LS 400 sedan. The LS 400 was praised for offering a luxury-car experience, a remarkably silent cabin, superior quality and an advanced V8 engine. At the same time, the LS was priced considerably lower than smaller, lesser-equipped, six-cylinder European rival luxury sedans.
The success of the Lexus brand in the US encouraged expansion to other markets in 1990 included the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
More models were added to the line-up, including the SC 300 and SC 400 coupes and the brand's first luxury performance sedan, the GS 300. By decade's end, the company had added SUVs (in the form of the LX 450/LX 470 and RX 300) and had sold more than a million vehicles alone in the United States.
The first decade of the 2000s saw Lexus proving itself a trend setter with the launch of many hybrid-powered versions of its vehicles such as the RX 400h and the GS 450h. And by 2011, Lexus even introduced a world-class supercar, the LFA.
In the years since its inception, the Lexus brand stands for quality, dependability and comfort.
Current Lexus Model Range for sale in South Africa:
Luxury Sedans IS250, IS350, GS250, GS350, LS460
Luxury Hybrids CT200h, GS450h, RX450h
Luxury SUVs RX350, LX570