First U.S.-Produced Lexus Assembly Line Construction Begins
Construction is now officially underway on the assembly line in Georgetown, Kentucky that will house the first U.S.-produced Lexus. This significant moment was commemorated on Wednesday by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK), whose leadership team signed the structure in a symbolic gesture.
It was only announced this past April that the Lexus ES350 would be built outside of Japan for the first time in its history. Toyota’s press release points out that the ES is Lexus’ best selling sedan; 72,581 units sold in the U.S. for the duration of 2013, which was a 30 percent increase over its already-impressive 2012 tally. The move to import Lexus ES350 production to America is a part of Toyota’s strategy to assemble vehicles in the markets where their customers live.
“Today’s milestone is symbolic of the bright future that lies ahead of us,” said Wil James, president of Toyota’s Kentucky plant. “We’re proud of our long history of building world-class vehicles in the Bluegrass, and look forward to raising the bar once again by adding Lexus to our lineup of Kentucky-made products.”
Building the first U.S.-produced Lexus in the Bluegrass State will generate 750 new jobs. Toyota will also invest $360 million into its Kentucky plant, which is already the automaker’s largest and most experienced operation in North America. Production on the first U.S.-produced Lexus ES 350 is anticipated to get under way in the fall of 2015; current plans call for an annual output of 50,000 units.