Lexus was the Japanese answer by Toyota Motor Corporation to the world of luxury cars. The brand is now the top selling Japanese luxury brand in the world. The brand mainly competes with Acura Honda, Infiniti of Nissan and Audi of Volkswagen and to some extent Ford’s Lincoln and GM’s Cadillac.
This is the largest sold premium cars from Japan and it is marked to an amazing number of 70 countries and regions across the world. By market value it is ranked in the top ten Japanese brands globally. The company was founded in 1989 and is located in Nagoya, Japan. Lexus was introduced to the world with a stack of champagne glasses perched on the hood of an LS 400 when it was revving up. The launch of the vehicle threw up an amazing statistic which stated that 60 designers, 1,400 engineers, 24 engineering teams, 2,300 technicians, 220 support staff, about 450 prototypes were used at the cost of US$1billion before the building of the first LS 400 was completed.
On the base two complaints received from the customers in 1989, Lexus voluntarily recalled 8,000 units of LS400 and got them repaired in record time. Technicians were sent to the customer’s location to pick the car, repair and return them free of charge in a frenzy of activities lasting 20 days. This highly enhanced the status of the Lexus brand on attending customer’s calls and established its reputation on customer service very early.
The hallmark of Lexus was its traditional emphasis on vehicle development standards which were specifically targeted. The design targets since its inception have been on riding quality, aerodynamics and the ergonomics of interiors. The development process used the acronym IDEAL or Impressive, Dynamic, Elegant, Advanced and Lasting in its implementation and each vehicle were subjected to go under the 500 standards of procedural norms while designing them. It is also known as the ‘Lexus Musts’ and it even included the norm for stitching the leather seats.
Another aspect that highlighted Lexus was its marketing. Lexus introduced its vehicles with advertisements focusing on specific marketing strategies. Actor James Sloyan lent his voice for the television advertisements starting from 1989 and remained the voice of Lexus till 2009 and he was also popularly known as Mr. Lexus. The advertisements usually featured Lexus models performing amazing stunts that were never seen before the prime example being the above mentioned ‘champagne glass balance’ on the hood in 1989. During 1989 to 1999 Lexus used monosyllabic descriptions such as “pursuit”, “relentless”, “perfection” and the cars were used demonstrate superiority in interior quiet, precision, idling and interior comfort. The commercials usually targeted the German luxury cars when introducing unique features.
The world line up of Lexus cars include different size classes of sedan namely the compact models IS and HS, the midsized models ES and GS and the LS flagship the full sized Lexus. The lineup also included the convertible IS C models and a range of sports utility vehicles that included the mid-size GX to full sized LX. The hybrid models featured HS Sedan, CT Hatchback, and variants of LS, GS and RX.