The company initially concentrated on labor-intensive clothing and textile industries that provided high profit margins.
Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. First introduced in 1989 in the United States, where Lexus has become the highest-selling make of luxury car, today Lexus vehicles are available throughout the world. As of 2006, Lexus is sold in 68 countries and territories worldwide. In 2005, the Lexus marque launched in Japan, becoming the first Japanese luxury car marque to be introduced in its home market. Through 2009, the Lexus brand name has debuted in additional export markets as part of the division's continued global expansion. Lexus originated from a clandestine flagship sedan project that began in 1983. This effort developed into the original Lexus LS, which was the first vehicle to wear the Lexus marque upon its launch in 1989. In following years, Lexus added sedan, coupe, convertible, and SUV models. In 2005, a hybrid version of the RX crossover debuted, and additional hybrid models were subsequently introduced to the Lexus lineup. In 2007, Lexus launched its F marque performance division with the arrival of the IS F sport sedan. From the start of production, Lexus vehicles have been consistently produced in Japan, with manufacturing centered in the Chūbu and Kyūshū regions, and in particular at Toyota's Tahara, Aichi, Chūbu and Miyata, Fukuoka, Kyūshū plants. Assembly of the first Lexus built outside the country, the Ontario, Canada-produced RX 330, began in 2003. Following a corporate reorganization from 2001 to 2005, Lexus operates its own design, engineering, and manufacturing centers, solely responsible for Lexus production. Since 1989, Lexus has developed a reputation for vehicle reliability and customer service, as measured by independent surveys. Consumer ratings firm J.D. Power and Associates has named Lexus the most reliable brand in the U.S. fourteen times, most recently in 2008, based on its Vehicle Dependability Survey of over 53,000 vehicle owners and problems experienced in the first three years of ownership. Through 2008, Consumer Reports has also named Lexus among the top five most reliable brands in its Annual Car Reliability Surveys of over one million vehicles across the U.S.