Georgetown, Kentucky, is home to Toyota’s largest North American plant – and it’s the first to build the Lexus ES 350 in the country, following a $360 million investment, 1.5 million training hours and the creation of 750 new jobs.
A ceremony was held to mark the occasion, with several thousand team members looking on at their latest creation, and a huge milestone for the plant. ‘This is a really proud moment for us and brings us full circle’, said the President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky, Wil James.
The ES 350 is Lexus’ best-selling saloon in the US, and it ‘is truly a tribute to our team members’ to be selected to build the first Lexus in Kentucky, James commented. The Kentucky plant will have capacity to build more than 550,000 vehicles a year, and total employment now stands at over 7,500, so the Lexus addition has had a huge impact.
Training included trips to Japan to learn the art of Lexus craftsmanship, driving an ES on Kentucky roads to know what it feels like to sit behind the wheel of what is being created in the plant, and visiting dealerships for customer understanding. To understand the vehicle itself, staff members repeatedly broke down and built up 22 brand new ES 350s, so they knew exactly how to put it together correctly from start to finish.
With the Kentucky plant thriving, the future looks bright in the US for Lexus. We will have to wait and see if the ES 350s makes its way to the UK, but there is a luxurious model range available here at the Jardine Motors Group – if you would like to arrange a test drive in anything from the RX 450h to the new GS F, contact us today.