Turning points in the history of Lexus (from 1989 to 2019)


Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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Lexus is one of the best luxury vehicles in the world today. The brainchild of Toyota has made major milestones in its history. See all the brand has achieved!

Toyota Motor Corporation has a luxury arm known as Lexus. It’s the number one selling premium car from Japan. The history of the brand dates back to the covert sedan project. This was a challenge thrown by the founder Eiji Toyoda to his team to create the best car in the world.

Turning points in the history of Lexus from 1989 to 2019

1989: The launch of 2 sedans namely: Lexus ES 250 and Lexus LS 400. These came with a zeal for perfection.

1990: The selection of 121 dealers out of the thousands who indicated interested to do business with Lexus in its first year.

1991: The introduction of the all-new Lexus ES 330 as SC 300 sport coupes and SC 300.

1993: Introduction of the sedan Lexus S 300 luxury sport as well as the Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) initiative.


Eiji Toyoda is the founder of the Lexus brand

1994: Beginning sales of the redesigned second-generation Lexus LS 400.


  • Placement of 100% tariffs on some Japanese vehicles as proposed by the government of the United States in a bid to settle trade disputes between the US and Japanese.
  • Announcement of the Lexus LX 450 luxury sport.

1996: Beginning sales of the all-new Lexus ES 300 and Lexus LX 450.


  • Introduction of the redesigned Lexus LS 400 which features the renowned VVT-I technology of Toyota.
  • Beginning sales of the Lexus GS 300 and Lexus GS 400 luxury sedans.

1998: Introduction of the Lexus RX 300 luxury crossover vehicle and Lexus LX 470 luxury sport.

1999: Sale of the 1,000,000th Lexus vehicle in the United States.


  • Development of a second offering for the luxury sedan group with Lexus IS 300.
  • Lexus became the very first import luxury automotive brand to make sales of over 20,000 vehicles in one month
  • Lexus became the number one luxury brand in the United States in terms of sales.

2001: An upgrade of the classic SC model to the Lexus SC 430 which features a convertible hardtop.


Lexus welcomes the 1 millionth vehicle sold after the release of Lexus LX470 in 1998


  • Lexus RX 300 and Lexus ES 300 became the best luxury and SUV cars sold in America.
  • Announcement of the Lexus GX 470 mid-size luxury vehicle.
  • Unveiling of the LF-S in Tokyo with its philosophical new design.


  • Beginning sale of the all-new Lexus RX 330 second generation.
  • Unveiling of the LF-X concept ride.
  • Announcement of the Lexus RX 330 to be the first vehicle from the brand manufactured at the Toyota Manufacturing Canada Incorporation (TMMC) in Ontario Canada. It’s the very first plant where production of Lexus was done outside Japan.

2004: Recorded the sale of its 2,000,000th vehicle in the United States.


  • Introduction of Lexus RX 400h – the first luxury hybrid car in the world.
  • Beginning sale of the 3rd-generation GS 430 and GS 300.
  • Beginning sale of the all-new IS 350 and IS 250 sport sedan vehicles.
  • Unveiling of the two-seat LFA super-premium car in Detroit.
  • Sale of its badged vehicles for the first time in Japan.

2006: Beginning sale of its second hybrid offering and first hybrid sports car in the industry –  Lexus GS 450h.


  • Launching of the Lexus Pursuit of Potential philanthropic initiative.
  • Beginning sale of the very first V8 hybrid car in the world – the Lexus LS 600hL.


  • Beginning sale of the all-new Lexus LX 570.
  • Revealing the Lexus IS F high-performance car with a 416-hp V8 engine to cater for enthusiasts of high-performance cars.


  • Introduction of the all-new Lexus RX 450h and Lexus RX 350 luxury utility cars.
  • Beginning sale of the IS 250C and IS 350C hard-top convertibles.

2010: Lexus CT 200h, premium compact hybrid car makes its world debut in Geneva.


  • Arrival of the first LFA produced vehicle in the US.
  • Beginning sale of CT200h, Lexus’ fifth hybrid cars.
  • World premiere of the Lexus GS 350 F SPORT in the US (Las Vegas).


  • The LF-LC concept vehicle makes its world premiere in Detroit.
  • The LF-LC recognized at the annual EyesOn Design Awards at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as Best Concept Car.
  • Debut of its very first Super Bowl commercial for the Super Bowl XLVI.
  • Redesigned Lexus LS lineup makes its world debut.
  • Beginning sale of the Lexus ES 300h and ES 350 sixth-generation hybrid sedans.


  • The IS sport sedan makes its world debut.
  • 12 winners were selected for the very first Lexus Design Award.


  • The RC F performance coupe makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in the US (Detroit).
  • The all-new Lexus NX 200t and NX 300h make their world debut at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.


  • The GS F performance sedan makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in the US (Detroit).
  • The fourth-generation RX makes its world debut at the New York International Auto Show.


  • The Lexus LC 500 luxury coupe makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in the US (Detroit).
  • The LC 500h luxury hybrid coupe makes its world debut in Geneva.


  • The all-new fifth-generation LS 500 makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in the US (Detroit).
  • The all-new LS 500h makes its world debut in Geneva.
  • Unveiling of the Lexus Sport Yacht in Miami.
  • Unveiling of the first three-row Lexus RX 350hL and RX 350L in Los Angeles.


Lexus is spreading its influence to waterway transports with its sports yacht


  • The LF 1 Limitless concept makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in the US (Detroit).
  • The UX compact luxury crossover makes its world debut in Geneva.
  • The seventh-generation ES luxury sedan makes its world debut in Beijing.
  • Unveiling of the Lexus LY 650 Luxury Yacht.


  • Introduction of the very first RC F Track Edition at the North American International Auto Show in the US (Detroit).
  • Sale of its 10,000,000th vehicle.

Collection of Lexus news on Naijauto.com

If you have read through all the milestones in the history of Lexus, you must be a true fan of this brand and may want to review some news related to this Japanese carmaker. That's why our thoughtful editors of Naijauto have collected here some of the most outstanding pieces of information around Lexus for you. Many turning points above are specified in these posts below:

Don't forget we also serve fans of other car brands with latest News in the auto industry as well as useful Car tips & advice!

Chris Odogwu
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Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.


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