Toyota either lowballed its sales goals for the Lexus brand in Japan or it genuinely surprised itself, because sales for the premium brand are almost four times what the company expected to see. Lexus, whose first dealership opened August 30, had been selling many of what we in the U.S. call Lexus vehicles under the Toyota badge, but made the decision to move those vehicles upscale in response to high consumer demand for luxury vehicles in Japan.

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