Toyota recently announced that its Lexus ES 350 will be assembled at its plant in Georgetown, Ky., starting in 2015, which will mark the first time a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States. To support the new dedicated assembly line, Toyota will invest $360 million in the Georgetown plant.
Approximately 50,000 Lexus vehicles a year will be produced, bringing the plant’s total annual production capacity to more than 550,000 vehicles.
"Lexus was founded in the United States, so it is only fitting that we are bringing the production of luxury sedans for our U.S. customers back to where the brand was born," said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation. "Today's announcement is a major step in our global vision to make ever better cars and trucks, give regions greater autonomy to make the products their customers want and achieve sustainable growth globally."
Production of the ES 350 at the Georgetown plant is the latest step in Toyota’s continuing strategy to assemble vehicles in the markets where its customers live. Over the past 17 months, the company has announced plans to increase production capacity at its plants in Mississippi, Indiana, West Virginia and Canada, reflecting a cumulative investment of approximately $2 billion that has created more than 4,000 new jobs.
Established in January 1986, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) is Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan, employing approximately 6,600 people. The plant currently assembles the Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza and manufactures 4-cylinder and V-6 engines. It has earned 10 Initial Quality Plant Awards from J.D. Power and Associates, including four gold J.D. Power Awards.
In 2012, the plant produced the 25 millionth Toyota vehicle built in North America. Toyota recently committed to boosting production capacity for the 4-cylinder engine at the plant by more than 100,000 units. This $30-million project will create about 80 new jobs.
"The decision to move ES 350 production to Kentucky is a true tribute to the hard work and commitment to excellence of every single Toyota team member at this plant," said TMMK president Wil James. "We deeply appreciate the tremendous support we have received from our community, from our local suppliers and business partners, and from Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We look forward to strengthening further the productive partnership we have built together over the last 25 years."
The ES is Lexus’s best-selling sedan with approximately 58,850 vehicles sold in North America in 2012, including 56,158 in the U.S.
For more information, visit www.toyota.com.