It's almost like a tale of the prodigal son returning home again, except instead of being covered in swill and mud he's wearing a tux and white gloves. Yesterday Toyota introduced its Lexus brand to the Japanese public 16 years after it made its world debut in the U.S. According to an article in the Detroit News, various cultural and business reasons have kept Toyota from bringing the luxury marque home until now, including the idea of a pervasive middle class in Japan that's been eroding in recent years as a wealthy upper class has emerged and began disposing of its abundant income. For years now Lexus models have been sold in Japan under the Toyota brand, of which anyone who has driven an Altezza in Gran Turismo 4 is well aware. Toyota hopes to sell 20,000 combined units this year of the three models introduced, which include the GS, SC and IS. Next year it hopes that number nearly triples to 60,000. Welcome home, Lexus.

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