In 1983, Toyota, now the world's biggest car maker, started a secret project to create a luxury executive car. The resulting car, the Lexus LS (luxury sedan), was launched in the American market in 1989. It proved such a winner that Toyota created a discrete brand to exploit the more opulent end of the car market. In little more than twenty years, Lexus cars have become Japan's largest premium car seller and a worldwide brand.
Manufacturing in Japan, Lexus have expanded the range of vehicles meeting the high level of customer expectation set by the LS with the ES300 sedan, the SC400 coupe and convertible and the RX300 SUV, all of which are found in the list of quality used Lexus cars.
Toyota initiated structural changes in the Lexus business at the run of the century, developing separate design, engineering and manufacturing arms. In 2003, armed with this new confidence and independence, Lexus brought the Canadian made RX330 into production, adding to the marque's growing internationalism, with major operational centres in Belgium and California, working to the headquarters in Toyota City, Japan.
Since 2000, Lexus sales, once dominated by the USA, have increased dramatically. Lexus, in a novel move by a Japanese car maker, opened specialist luxury dealerships first in Japan and subsequently in 70 sales territories around the world. As a result, nearly new Lexus cars are easily available in the UK and Lexus is among the top ten Japanese global brands by market value.
In 2005, following the lead of the parent company's Prius, Lexus introduced the hybrid RX400 that has been followed by hybrid electric/combustion engined versions of other models in the Lexus car range.
Two years later, the ISF sport sedan was released and has since been hailed as the manufacturer's most innovative design achievement, heralding the start of the F 'performance' marque. This was continued by the LFA supercar in 2009.