May. 15, 1989
LEXUS PRODUCTION BEGINS
Toyota City―TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION'S new line of luxury cars, the Lexus, today moved one step closer to introduction as the first of the company's LS 400 luxury sedans rolled off the assembly line at the Tahara Plant near Nagoya en route to the U.S.
Six years in development, the LS 400 is the most luxurious and technologically advanced automobile Toyota has ever produced, and it is the first designed to compete directly with such European names as BMW and Mercedes Benz.
To ensure that each car offers the utmost in terms of total quality and performance, all new LS 400s will undergo exhaustive testing at speeds of up to 100mph on a factory track in Japan and receive another thorough inspection and test drive in the U.S. prior to dealer delivery.
The Lexus will be launched throughout the U.S. on September 1, 1989 with approximately 65 dealers. By the end of the year, 100 dealers in all are slated to be in operation. The first shipment of Lexus vehicles is scheduled for late June, and they will begin to arrive in U.S. showrooms in August as dealership facilities reach completion. All dealers will offer both the LS 400, a luxury four-door sedan with a 250-hp 4-liter V8 engine, and the ES 250, a four-door executive sedan powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine. Sales for 1989 are targeted at 16,000 units.