FEBRUARY 28, 2003
Toyota expands Lexus brand
Toyota has announced that it will shortly introduce the Lexus brand to Japan. Lexus was developed as a brand apart from Toyota in the United States because of restrictions of imports but has since expanded to become a strong luxury brand in its own right. The news opens the way for Toyota to use the Lexus brand if it does at some point expand to two engine supplies in Formula 1, something which was discussed when the Toyota F1 programme was originally being developed.
Lexus is in direct competition with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and top-of-the-range Fords in the US market and so the barnd would suit F1 well.
BMW incidentally has recently announced plans to double its sales in Asia in the next five years and sees China as the major target for the expansion. The company is aiming to sell 150,000 cars a year in Asia by 2008.