Toyota's Lexus brand is not yet a global player as a luxury marque, says German rival BMW.
"Toyota has lots of cash, but we are still waiting to welcome them in the premier league," said Stefan Krause, BMW board member in charge of finance.
BMW rivals such as Lexus, Saab, Infiniti and Jaguar are successful in one or possibly two key markets, but not globally.
Krause said only two premium brands can call themselves global: BMW and Mercedes-Benz. He pointedly ignored Volkswagen's Audi brand.
Stuart McCullough, Lexus Europe director, said: "We have a lot of work to do in Europe. But I hope people are starting to see where we are headed from our products and stand at the show."
As part of its ambition to catch BMW, Lexus aims to boost its sales in Europe, helped by its new IS lower-premium sedan, which debuted here with Lexus' first diesel engine.
The IS will go on sale in Europe with a new 2.5-liter, V-6 gasoline engine by the end of the year. A diesel version with a 175hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder unit will follow early next year.
Lexus aims to sell 65,000 cars in Europe by 2010. McCullough thinks the brand can reach that goal because of improvements to its powertrain options.
Besides offering diesel variants, Lexus plans to offer gasoline-electric powertrains in most of its models starting with the RX 400h, the hybrid version of its SUV, which goes on sale in Europe in June.
BMW's Krause said he will consider Lexus a true global rival when it has:
Said McCullough: "I don't think build-to-order is the mark of a premium brand. We think there is room for us on the global stage."