The official date of birth of the new brand (which did not have a name at that time), focused on the production of luxury cars, is August 1983.
At a secret meeting of Toyota Corporation’s Board of Directors, its head Eiji Toyoda announced his decision that the corporation should create its own representative car, and it will be better than the products of leading automakers in everything.
That decision wasn’t spontaneous at all. In the early 1980s, the luxury car market, especially the North American market, was growing slowly but steadily, and Toyota, which had good sales in the U.S., could not stay away.
According to the results of numerous marketing researches TMC management decided to create a new brand.
There were two opinions on the brand name in the corporation’s management: some believed that a new name was necessary to avoid association with the Toyota brand, which produces generally inexpensive models; others were sure that the new car should be sold only under the name of Toyota, both to increase the brand’s reputation and to attract customers to lower models of the company.
However, studies and surveys of Americans showed that the first party’s assumptions were correct: in the U.S., the name “Toyota”, as it turned out, was more associated not with cars, but with pickups in general, due to the peculiarities of advertising and marketing of TMC.
This fact plus the strong convictions of the employees of the brand development and promotion group still inclined the company’s management, namely Eiji Toyoda, to make their final choice in favor of the new name.
In 1986, the Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Agency, which had long served Toyota, formed a special division called Team One, whose main function was to create and develop a new premium brand for Toyota. At Team One’s request, Lippincott & Margulies formed a list of 219 names, of which the new brand name was to be chosen.
The name Alexis turned out to be the most preferable option in the end, but due to strong associations with Alexis Carrington, the character of the popular series “Dynasty” in the 1980s, it was decided to transform the name into Lexus. The origin of the name Lexus often refers to a combination of the words “luxury” (luxury) and “elegance” (elegance).
According to another theory, Lexus is an acronym for “luxury to U.S.”.
However, Team One argued that the Lexus brand name has no special meaning and that the word Lexus simply conveys the image of luxury and technology well.