In 1987, two years before Lexus's official unveiling, Dave Illingworth called his assistant into his office and told him to take notes. In a speech that would set out the brand's values and collective identity for decades to come, Illingworth, Lexus's US-based general manager at launch, announced without affectation that Lexus vehicles "will be the finest cars ever built." He knew the company's task was monumental - "BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar have spent decades building an image of prestige," he once noted - but remained confident. "If you think you can't, you won't," he said. "If you think you can, you will."" And so they did.