Lexus Begins Building Cars in America
Toyota recently made a relatively quiet adjustment to its manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Kentucky. It’s not a big deal, it’s just about 50,000 Lexus ES 350 vehicles that will be built at the plant. This will be the first time that any Lexus vehicles have been built on American soil, and signals the automaker’s commitment to manufacturing in the US.
Many changes had to be made at the Kentucky plant to prepare it to build the Lexus ES 350, further showcasing the difference between Toyota vehicles and the Lexus luxury line. While some parts of production are shared, like panel stamping, building Lexus vehicles requires new machinery for the assembly line and a completely separate paint shop.
Employees that will be building the Lexus vehicles also had to go through training to learn the Lexus quality standards, which are much tighter than on Toyota vehicles. A couple of the workers traveled to Japan to train with workers in plants already building Lexus vehicles to understand the new paint standards and part fittings.
The addition of Lexus to the Georgetown plant makes the facility the largest Toyota plant by volume in the world, according to The New York Times. It will be interesting to see if any other Lexus vehicles cross the Pacific Ocean to be built in the US.
News Source: The New York Times