Does Toyota own Lexus? Who Manufactures It?

Lexus is so much desired because of its sleek design, quality performance, among other luxury features. In terms of overall performance, this Toyota upscale can compete toe to toe against other luxurious car marques like Benz, Audi, and BMW. 

If you want to find out about the origin of Lexus, this post contains the answer you need. We cover the following questions: Is Lexus owned by Toyota? Does Lexus use Toyota parts? Is Lexus more reliable than Toyota? Etc.

Is Lexus Owned By Toyota?

Having sold its 10 millionth “Lexus” car in 2019, Toyota could boast that its investment in the F-1 project launched by Eiji Toyoda is largely successful. Ah, yes! Toyota owns Lexus. This may come as a surprise, considering how the Lexus marque is far superior to Toyota’s in terms of ride quality, ergonomic interior, aesthetics, and overall performance.  

All Lexus cars were made in Japan until they opened one in Ontario, Canada, where the RX 350 model was produced. Till this time, Lexus remained a division of Toyota, and many of its cars were produced in Japan and exported to the United States and Europe. 

It was not until 2005 that Lexus gained its autonomy and introduced the brand to the Japanese market. Find below the table detailing the manufacturing locations of Lexus cars all over the world. 

Location Lexus Car Models
Tahara, Japan LS, GS, IS, GX, RX, and NX
Toyota City, Japan  CT, HS, and RX
Kitakyushu, Japan CT, HS, and RX
Miyawaka, Japan ES, IS, RX, NX, and UX
Susono, Japan SC
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada RX and RXh
Georgetown, Kentucky, USA ES

Figure 1

The execs at Toyota chose “Lexus” for their luxury car make after considering 219 other names like Vectre, Verone, Chaparel, Calibre, and Alexis. Alexis turned out to be the most preferred until they tweaked it to “Lexus” for fear of not appealing to certain demographics due to the unmanly nature of the name.

Does Lexus Use Toyota Parts? 

Because the same company makes Toyota and Lexus, some of their components can be used interchangeably. So, yes. You can use Toyota parts for your Lexus. Ditto for Lexus parts in Toyota. 

Ordinarily, you should use OE parts for Lexus vehicles. However, you may be forced to use a Toyota part in situations like these:

  • #1 You cannot get Lexus OE parts where you are.
  • #2 You cannot afford the price of the original Lexus OE parts.
  • #3 Your Lexus vehicle belongs to the older generation, and you cannot find the original part.

If any of the above is the case, the best alternative to Lexus OE parts is Toyota. Suppose you are going to interchange a part of Lexus for Toyota’s; you need to ensure that they both share the same platform. By this, they have a similar drive (transmission) & power train,  chassis/unibody. For the newbies, a platform is the skeleton or structure of a car. It is the part of the vehicle that holds the other components together.

Figure 2

Apart from Lexus and Toyota, other car makes that share the same similar platforms for some of their models are Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ. Another example is the Volkswagen Touareg and Lamborghini Urus.

Building cars on the same platform means cheaper prices for customers since the auto-maker would have saved billions of dollars that could have gone into R&D. Multiple testing of such platforms also increases reliability. Finally, platform sharing in the auto industry makes driving smoother for drivers.

Is Lexus More Reliable Than Toyota?

No, but it’s absolutely true that Lexus is more expensive to maintain than Toyota or that Lexus is a luxurious version of Toyota. 

Both cars rank equal in terms of capability, performance, reliability, and technology. The only advantage Lexus has over Toyota is its sleek design and other extravagant features. If you want to show affluence and want people to accord you a bigger respect, Lexus is the car for you. Otherwise, get yourself a Toyota.

And because Lexus is fitted with additional features that make riding more comfortable, it will cost more to maintain or repair a Lexus than a Toyota. For instance, some Lexus models are fitted with a foldable mirror, a feature that’s not essential to driving. Replacing such auto fold side mirror costs over $1200 for a Lexus, but it costs roughly one-third of that amount to replace the side mirror of a Toyota (Per Autoguru). 

Is Toyota Cheaper Than Lexus?

Yes, Toyotas are cheaper brands than Lexus. Lexus came to be due to the desire of Toyoda, the former chairman of Toyota, to build a premium car brand following in the footsteps of Honda, a local competitor, who found success manufacturing luxurious vehicles (Acura) for export to Western countries.

Toyota is the right option for anyone operating on a tight budget, while Lexus will be a better option if you do not face any budget constraints. The 2022 Toyota Corolla Sedan is the cheapest Toyota (at the time of updating this article), costing $20,425. On the other hand, the cheapest price for the 2022 Lexus UX  is $34,225.

Who Sells More Cars Between Lexus And Toyota?

Stacking Toyota and Lexus car sales against each other reveals that Toyota performs better on this metric. There is a larger percentage of low and middle-income earners around the world, and for anyone in this bracket, Toyota appears to be a more reasonable option than a Lexus. Hence, no surprises there!

Statista gathered that the best-selling car for 2021 was the Toyota Corolla. It garnered over 1.1 million sales which is about 9.09% higher than the car placed in the second position on the list, the Rav4, at 1 million sales. I wrote a post explaining where the Rav4 SUV is made. Click here to read it.

Why Do People Prefer Toyota Vehicles?

People like Toyota vehicles because of their reputation for quality. Following the events after the second world war, they have continued to adhere to the Deming Quality philosophy. Therefore they have continued to dominate the international market, particularly with their Corolla, Camry, and Rav4 models.

On top of that, they are a great option for those who can’t afford brand-new cars. Regardless of whether they have high mileage, Toyota vehicles have proven to be reliable and a great option for the low and middle-income class.

Finally, car shoppers equally show an affinity for Toyota brands because of their potential high resale value. According to an infographic shared by the experts at Car Edge, Toyota ranks next to Subaru with a 77.61% resale value after 5 years of use

The End

Toyota and Lexus are birds of the same feather. Toyota Motor Corporation is the parent company responsible for making them in addition to two other brands  — Daihatsu and Hino. If you are looking for a rugged vehicle that is performance-oriented, you are better off with a Toyota make.

On the other end, if you are more interested in a Toyota product to show off and enjoy advanced driving features, you are better off with a Lexus. It’s right in the class of luxury automobiles like BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Audi. Guess you now have everything you need to know about the relationship between Toyota and Lexus. Thanks for sharing.

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