Also I don't know for sure if the serial number in the VIN is an exact count of how many cars have been made.
And also the serial number may indicate that some more cars were made for other markets. I think the 9000 figure was for USA, but they are making IS300s for Canada and other countries. (but I don't know if they all share the same VIN numbering scheme).
thing is...the serial/VIN number of the car isn't the same as the car number thats on the side of the door sill...i remember reading in the VIN decoder that the VIN should include the car number in the last few digits, but when i looked, it didn't. I thought the car number was the number the car was made?
Someone once posted that the car # on the lower door sticker isn't really a serial number, rather a reusable code that controls how the car moves through the production factory. I think the last digits of the VIN are the best way to judge how many they have made, but (like I said) it may also include some non-US production.