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Toyota takes flight with plan to build jets under Lexus brand

Lexus will aim higher than just cars and yachts, it will also set its sights on building a plane.

Lexus is, quite literally, preparing for take-off.

The Japanese carmaker is expanding its portfolio of products outside of four-wheeled machines as it launches a 65-foot luxury yacht in Miami this week, but Lexus is also eyeing off taking to the skies and could follow rival brand Honda in creating an executive jet.

Speaking to media at the launch of the Lexus LY650 yacht in Boca Raton, just north of Miami, Toyota's global president and Lexus chief brand officer Akio Toyoda told media that the company’s next conquest would be the skies.

“Toyota itself is trying to transform from an automotive company to a mobility company and in order to enhance the value of the Lexus brand we need to cover land, sea and also air, and therefore the yacht was a concept we thought we really need to have,” he said.

When asked by CarsGuide if that specifically meant that Lexus was also investigating the development of an aeroplane, Mr Toyoda replied: "Well, please watch us in what we do when it comes to that area."

The HondaJet has been a ground-breaking exercise for the Japanese company, and has pioneered new levels of refinement, efficiency and range in the small executive jet market through lightweight construction techniques – elements Mr Toyoda also claim Lexus delivered in its partnership with American boat builder Marquis Yachts in the development of the LY650, which will officially make its public debut at the Miami boat show next week.