Sunday, April 22, 2007

Products and brands


The first Toyota brand was the eponymous Toyota, which remains the best selling of Toyota's brands. Sales of Toyota branded vehicles have given Toyota Motor Corporation a 45% domestic market share in Japan, higher than any other manufacturer. In North America, Toyota has achieved success with a full lineup of cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles. In particular, the Toyota Camry has been America's best-selling car for the past five years, and is assembled in Kentucky; the Toyota Corolla has been the second best-selling car for 2006. These vehicles have helped drive sales of the Toyota brand in the United States. Total U.S. sales reached 2,220,090 units in 2006, making the brand third overall in U.S. sales for the first time in history.


The Lexus emblem, symbol of Toyota’s luxury division.

Lexus is Toyota's brand name for its luxury vehicle division. In 1989, Lexus was launched in the U.S., the culmination of a clandestine seven-year initiative to build world-class luxury vehicles. The luxury division expanded to Europe and Oceania in 1990. Lexus was launched with two vehicles, the LS flagship and the ES sedan, and has grown into a full lineup of models ranging from the convertible SC to luxury SUVs such as the bestselling RX Series. Lexus also produces hybrid vehicles under the name Lexus Hybrid Drive. Lexus is now sold in over forty countries around the world, and launched in Japan in 2005, becoming the first luxury marque of a Japanese manufacturer to do so. Today, Lexus is the best selling luxury marque in North America, and the fourth largest luxury marque in the world by volume.

Since its debut, Lexus has developed a reputation for reliability and quality customer service. Consumer ratings firm J.D. Power and Associates has named Lexus the most reliable automotive brand for twelve consecutive years. Consumer Reports in 2006 also named Lexus the most reliable brand in its survey of over one million vehicles, and Lexus customers frequently give their dealerships high ratings for customer service. Although Lexus' financial results are not publicly reported, analysts suggest that the Lexus division is the most profitable business unit of the Toyota Motor Corporation. In 2005, Lexus was organizationally separated from Toyota, gaining its own board of directors and dedicated design, engineering, and manufacturing centers.


Scion logo

Scion is a United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico-only division of Toyota founded in 2003. In 2003, Toyota brought two of its popular cars from Japan (including the bB) to America, and created a new badge, called Scion, meaning a descendant or heir. The xA (known in Japan as the Toyota ist) and xB (known in Japan as the Toyota bB) are powered by a 1.5L DOHC I4 engine. A third model, the Scion tC, was introduced in 2004 and uses a 2.4 liter engine; it was designed for the North American market as a Toyota Celica replacement, using the four-cylinder engine and transmissions from the Toyota Camry, and the basic platform of the European Toyota Avensis.