Since Lexus is high quality and costly car, many people assume that it is made by a particular car maker named Lexus. That is a wrong assumption. So, who makes Lexus? Where is Lexus made? Who owns Lexus?
Toyota makes Lexus. It is a division of Toyota Motor Corporation. So, the Lexus brand is owned by Toyota. However, the headquarters of Lexus is different from the headquarters of Toyota. Lexus’ headquarters is located in Nagoya, Japan, while Toyota’s is located in Toyota City, Japan. Since the early 2000s, Lexus has been operating its design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities.
So, Lexus is under the corporate umbrella of Toyota. Toyota launched this brand in 2006 in Malaysia. Lexus sold the first Lexus cars in Japan as Toyotas. However, since the second generation of the Lexus XE20, Toyota never came up with an equivalent model of the Lexus IS cars.
Read on to learn more about who makes and owns Lexus, where it is manufactured, and a brief look at its background.
Who Makes Lexus? Where Is Lexus Made? Who Owns Lexus?
Toyota owns Lexus, but Lexus has its headquarters that is separate from the headquarters of Toyota. Since the early 2000s, Lexus has been operating its design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities. Its office is located in Nagoya, Japan, while Toyota maintains its headquarters in Toyota City, Japan.
Toyota Launched Lexus in Malaysia
Toyota officially launched the Lexus brand in 2006, not in Japan but in Malaysia. Car buyers are enamored with JDMs or Japanese domestic market cars. Toyota sold the first Lexus cars in Japan as Toyotas.
But as time went on, and since the second-generation Lexus XE20, Toyota discontinued making the Toyota branded cars equivalent to the Lexus LS. However, Lexus remained as a division of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
The company still makes both car brands in Japan. However, Toyota also manufactures many Lexus and Toyota models outside Japan.
Lexus Cars Are Manufactured in Many Parts of the World
Lexus manufactures Lexus cars in many parts of the world, including:
- North America,
- Georgetown, South Africa,
- Ontario, Canada, and of course in
- Fukuoka, Japan.
Toyota still makes Lexus, including engines and components. The difference between Toyota and Lexus is that the latter is a luxury brand.
What Is Lexus?
Toyota’s Luxury Vehicle Division
Toyota is popular for producing affordable yet high-quality and dependable cars. But, how about those who can’t afford much better and pricier cars? So, Toyota formed a luxury vehicle division for this particular market. Thus, the Lexus car brand was born.
Became Popular Among Car Buyers and Enthusiasts
Since its launch in Malaysia in 2006, Lexus has grown and was accepted and became popular among car buyers and enthusiasts. It is now being distributed and sold in over 90 countries worldwide. Lexus is now the biggest-selling brand of premium cars in Japan. It has consistently ranked among the ten biggest Japanese brands globally.
Offices and Facilities
Aside from its headquarters in Nagoya, Japan, Lexus maintains offices and facilities in other places like Plano, Texas, in the U.S., and Brussels, in Belgium.
Still, most Lexus cars are made in Japan, in the Chubu and Kyushu regions, particularly at the following manufacturing centers:
- Aichi, and
Starting in 2003, Toyota produced the first Lexus outside of Japan, in Ontario, Canada, at the RX 330 manufacturing plant of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc.
From 2001 to 2005, Toyota conducted a corporate reorganization. After this reorganization, Lexus operates its design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities.
Since then, Lexus has increased its presence and sales in the United States, its biggest market.
Launched in Different Countries Worldwide
Lexus also started forming its dealership network in the JDM in 2005. By doing this, Lexus became the first Japanese premium car brand launched in its country of origin. Since then, Toyota launched Lexus in different countries worldwide, including:
- Latin America,
- Southeast Asia,
- Europe, and elsewhere.
It has also introduced hybrid vehicles across the globe.
Who Makes Lexus?
Operates Independently of Its Mother Company
While Toyota owns Lexus, it is in many ways a luxury car brand that operates independently of its mother company. Lexus maintains its facilities for design, engineering, and manufacturing. So, you can say that it manufactures its vehicles.
More Expensive Than Toyota Cars
Lexus cars are more expensive than Toyota cars due to their higher quality standards and materials. Their designs are for the upscale market and not just ordinary car consumers. Essentially, if you have luxurious tastes and needs, Toyota built Lexus cars for you.
Class of Its Own
Technically, Toyota Motor Corporation owns Lexus. But Lexus is in a class of its own with its manufacturing facilities. So you can also say that Lexus owns Lexus. While it is a part of the Toyota conglomerate, it is a luxury division with models that stand out from the rest of the Toyota vehicle lineup.
Again, who makes Lexus? Toyota owns Lexus. However, Toyota conducts its operations in its main headquarters in Toyota City, Japan, while Lexus is in Nagoya, Japan. Lexus has designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicles in its center since the early 2000s.
Where Are Lexus Cars Made?
Toyota primarily manufactures Lexus cars in Japan in the Kyushu and Chubu regions. The first Lexus car made outside of Japan was the Lexus RX 330 model. Ontario, Canada, was where it happened, and the year was 2003.
Today, Lexus vehicles are made in three different parts of the world; most are still made in Japan. The table below enumerates the places and the respective Lexus car models that these car plants produce:
|Country||Lexus Car Model|
|Toyota City||EX, LC, LFA, and LX|
|Tahara||IS, GS, GX, LS, NX, and RX|
|Miyawaka||ES, IS, NX, RX, and UX|
|Kitakyushu||CT, HT, and RX|
|Cambridge, Ontario||NX, NXh, RX, and RXh|
Short History of Lexus
Under the Corporate Umbrella of Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan
Lexus is under the corporate umbrella of Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan. But Toyota and Lexus vehicles offer their distinct specialties. Toyota is for the common person, while Lexus is for the upscale. So, Lexus, in reality, is a distinct entity, although owned by Toyota.
Distinct Business Entity
As a distinct business entity, Lexus started to operate its design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities when Toyota conducted a corporate reorganization from 2001 to 2005. But before that, the concept of Lexus started in 1983 when Toyota started thinking of developing a premium sedan which they code-named F1.
Lexus Released Vehicles in Japan Bearing the Toyota Brand
The project culminated in 1989, when Toyota introduced the Lexus LS to the JDM. As a brand, Lexus did not exist in the JDM until 2005. From 1989 to 2005, Lexus released all Lexus vehicles marketed globally in Japan bearing the Toyota brand with an equivalent model name.
Lexus Launched a Hybrid Version of RX Crossover
Lexus launched a hybrid version of the RX crossover in 2005. Afterward, they released other hybrid Lexus vehicles. Later on, in 2007, Lexus launched its performance vehicle, the F lineup with the IS F sport sedan. Lastly, they released another supercar, the LFA, in 2009.
Lexus’ Accomplishments Throughout the Years
Japanese buyers are still the largest consumers of Lexus cars. But you can find Lexus vehicles in 70 countries and territories across the globe. You will appreciate this car brand more if you consider some of its accomplishments through the years:
In 1983, Toyota launched its Project F1 or Flagship One, a world-class luxury vehicle that can outclass its competitors.
In 1989, Toyota launched the Lexus LS 400, powered by a 4.0L V8 engine. The LS 400 offers the best in Toyota quality and craftsmanship. It debuted at the North American International Auto Show.
In 2018, Lexus introduced the updated Lexus LS with a new twin-turbo V6 engine.
In 2019, Lexus was able to sell its ten-millionth vehicle despite encountering major events and an international recession. The high demand and popularity prooves this vehicle’s resiliency.
In 2022, Lexus re-introduced the IS model but with an upgraded 5.0L V8 engine. The previous power source of this luxury sedan for its 2014 year model was a 3.5L V6 engine. Lexus also introduced its Lexus NX, an interface system that showcases its next-generation infotainment system.
By 2023, Lexus plans to introduce the first Lexus RZ. This fully electric vehicle offers an elevated performance level that will impress the motoring world.
What Is the Difference Between Toyota and Lexus
Type of Engine
One of the big differences between Toyota and Lexus vehicles is the type of engines. Toyota vehicles can come in diesel and gasoline engines. On the other hand, gasoline engines power Lexus vehicles across the board.
However, there is one exception—a diesel 1VDFTV engine powers the Lexus 450d. Lexus markets Lexus 450d in India.
There is another surprising thing about Lexus and Toyota which you may not know. In its manufacturing processes, there will be engines intended for Lexus vehicles that may not pass the stringent quality of the brand.
Such engines will be discarded. But that does not mean that they will be thrown into the waste. These engines will be fitted into Toyota car models that are less prestigious. So, you might not know that your Toyota car may have an original engine that is intended for a Lexus, but it didn’t make the cut.
Toyota is well-known for building high-quality engines, so is Lexus, which is Toyota’s luxury division. Toyota’s hand-me-down engines are not just used in Toyota vehicles. They are also fitted on vehicles of other car brands.
Conclusion: Who Makes Lexus? Where Is Lexus Made? Who Owns Lexus?
Toyota makes the Lexus brand of automobiles, so it is the company that owns the brand. However, Toyota and Lexus have separate headquarters. The headquarters of Toyota is located in Toyota City, Japan, while Lexus’ is located in Nagoya, Japan.
Since the 2000s, Lexus has been operating its design, engineering, and manufacturing facilities. Lexus vehicles are being manufactured in different places aside from Japan.
Lexus is under the corporate umbrella of Toyota. In 2006, Toyota launched Lexus in Malaysia. The Lexus cars sold in Japan at that time were called Toyotas. But since the second-generation Lexus XE20, Toyota no longer makes an equivalent model of the Lexus IS.