Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) started production on the Lexus ES350 at its Kentucky plant on October 18. The ES350 is the first Lexus model to be built locally in the US.
From April 2013, the ES350 was one of the Lexus ES series models for North America built at Toyota Motors Kyushu but Toyota announced that as of fall 2015, production has been moved to the US.
The original plan was for TMMK to build 50,000 ES350’s per year. Toyota Motor Kyushu will continue building ES350, ES250 and hybrid ES300h models for countries outside North America. The idea is to make delivery of the ES350 to North American customers faster.
On October 19, the first ES350 built at TMMK rolled off the line and a celebration was held to mark the occasion with employees and other related people.
Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said, “Localizing Lexus production is in line with our North American production strategy and is rooted in our philosophy of building cars where we sell them.”
(Translated by Greg Scott)