Lexus announced that it will be producing its ES 350 at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Kentucky, starting in 2015. This is the first time a Lexus will be produced in the U.S. By doing this, the automaker will create 750 new jobs to support the assembly line. Toyota is set to invest $360 million into the Georgetown plant.
It is estimated that 50,000 Lexus vehicles will be produced at the plant annually, bring up the plant 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 Toyota, president of Toyota Motor Corporation in a statement.
Production of the Lexus ES 350 at the Kentucky plant is just the latest step in Toyota’s plans to assemble vehicles in the markets where its customers reside. In the past 17 months, Toyota has announced plans to create more than 4,000 jobs by increasing production at its plants in Mississippi, Indiana, West Virginia, and Canada.
Currently, TMMK is the company’s largest manufacturing plant outside of Japan, and employs nearly 6,600 people. The Kentucky plant produced the 25 millionth Toyota vehicle built in North America in 2012, prompting Toyota to increase production for the four-cylinder engine to more than 100,000 units, creating another 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. 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,” said TMMK President Wil James in a statement.