On this day in auto history - July 26th

Mon 26th Jul 2021

It was on this day in 2005 that premium marque Lexus - having completed an organisational separation from parent company Toyota - was belatedly launched as its own outright brand in the global vehicle market.

The Lexus marque had existed from 1989 as Toyota’s luxury division with its major market being the USA where it enjoyed great success. The company began limited exports to the UK and other countries throughout the 1990’s but struggled for brand recognition, prompting its seismic corporate reorganisation.

After its 2005 separation from Toyota, Lexus finally enjoyed the benefit of having dedicated design, engineering, training and manufacturing centres working exclusively for the division which coincided with the belated launch of the brand in its home market of Japan and an expanded global launch of the marque in major markets such as China.

To accompany this expansion, Lexus vehicles were redesigned as global models for international release and by 2007 the company’s annual worldwide sales had smashed the half a million barrier, though the twin effects of the 2008 recession and Japanese tsunami of 2011 saw Lexus’ sales recede in the ensuing years.

However, helped by an enduring reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction, aided by a series of slick marketing programs, Lexus vehicles are now more popular than ever as it aims for 750,000 global sales in 2019.

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