Toyota Launches Lexus ES 350 Production in U.S. | Edmunds.com
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Toyota Launches Lexus ES 350 Production in U.S.


Just the Facts:
  • Toyota will launch production of the Lexus ES 350 in Kentucky, making it the first Lexus model to be built in the U.S., the automaker said on Friday.
  • Lexus production at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant will kick off in 2015.
  • Toyota said it is investing $360 million in the plant to accommodate the production of 50,000 ES 350 sedans annually.

ERLANGER, Kentucky — Toyota will launch production of the Lexus ES 350 in Kentucky, making it the first Lexus model to be built in the U.S., the automaker said on Friday.

Lexus production at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant will kick off in 2015. The cars are currently imported from Japan.

Toyota said it is investing $360 million in the plant to accommodate the production of 50,000 ES 350 sedans annually. The move creates 750 new jobs in Kentucky.

"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," said Toyota in a statement.

The Toyota Camry, Avalon and Venza currently are built at the Georgetown plant.

The announcement is a significant one, because Lexus manufacturing in the U.S. marks just the second time a Lexus nameplate will be built outside Japan. Toyota manufactures the Lexus RX crossover at its Cambridge, Ontario plant in Canada.

The Lexus RX and ES 350 are the top-selling Lexus vehicles in the U.S.

Japanese automakers are in a race to localize more manufacturing. Infiniti announced this week that it is considering a new North American plant to build vehicles.

Edmunds says: A win for workers in Kentucky and for U.S. Lexus buyers who would like to see more local content in their cars.

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