PAST AND PRESENT
“Can we create a four-door luxury car to challenge the very best?” This innocent question was posed back in 1983 by Eiji Toyoda, chairman of Toyota at the time, to his top management team. Over the next six years, 60 designers, 1,400 engineers and 2,300 technicians proved they could by conceiving the first acclaimed LS and, in the process, a new luxury car brand.
The success of the project can be attributed to many factors, but in his informative book Lexus: The Challenge to Create the Finest Automobile, Brian Long sums it up well: “Each team had been given the task of identifying the manufacturer who led its field of expertise, analyse why it was the best and then beat it. There was no time limit imposed and, with the usual constraint of having to use common components taken away, the innovative Lexus engineers were in their element.”