Lexus LS 400 Honored in Car Magazine’s 50 Greatest Cars of the Past Fifty Years

1990 Lexus LS 400

Car Magazine has put together a list of the 50 greatest cars of the past fifty years, and the first-generation Lexus LS 400 placed 40th overall:

…the LS 400 exposed the contemporary S-Class as unrefined and crudely made: Lexus didn’t so much as raise the bar in mechanical refinement and body engineering, as heave it heavenwards. It eclipsed the BMW 7 and Jaguar XJ.

A pretty decent finish for the LS — too bad Car Magazine decides to use the honor as an opportunity to criticize Lexus in general — one quote stood out in particular:

So why has Lexus subsequently failed to ignite as a global premium player? Why are BMW, Audi and Mercedes now all pulling ahead? (They all outsell Lexus by more than three-to-one globally.) Last year, BMW and Mercedes both overtook Lexus in the US.

It’s worth pointing out that Lexus as a global brand is a relatively new thing — it’s only been six years since Lexus entered the Japan and China, and there are several other major markets (like India) where the brand has yet to be introduced. It stands to reason that sales would trail behind brands with decades of international experience.

(Also, bringing up last year’s drop in sales without mentioning the Japanese tsunami seems disingenuous.)

[Source: German Car Forums] (Thanks Jimbo!)