SANTA BARBARA — Toyota Motor Corp. started the ball rolling with its original Lexus LS400 in 1989: a genuine challenge to German automakers' dominance of the prestige market. The formula was simple: a technically advanced, strong-performing package that rivaled Germany's best — with a highly attractive price for good measure. The first Lexus (and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd's Infiniti) prestige sedans rocked giants Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG at their foundations. Relatively safe from the fray, ...

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