This week Lexus began to make the company’s top-selling ES 350 sedan in Kentucky. The plant is not new to TMS America, the U.S. corporation that makes Toyotas and Lexus cars and trucks. The plant has been in the Toyota/Lexus family for 26 years. It had been used to build the top-selling car in America, the Toyota Camry, and now will be the build-site for the number one premium mid-size car in the country, the Lexus ES 350. Toyota continues to our its profits back into its U.S. infrastructure, and the conversion added 750 new American jobs to the 33,000 TMS now employs. The ES line has a maximum capacity of 50,000 vehicles per year, and the total plant can (and does) build over a half-million cars per year.
Whenever the economy dips and the news cycle is slow, we are treated to diatribes by politicians decrying “outsourcing.” Toyota and Lexus have long been doing the opposite. Insourcing the manufacturing of components and the assembly of the most popular cars and trucks in their segments right here in the U.S.
Jim Lentz, Toyota North America CEO, commented on the new expansion, saying, “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. Kentucky plant is known for being one of the top vehicle manufacturing facilities in the world. With our talented team in Georgetown building our popular ES 350, we’re positioned to better serve our U.S. customers now and well into the future.”
It is no secret that Toyota builds more cars in America than many companies considered “American.” With the new addition of the Lexus ES to its American-made portfolio, Lexus and Toyota now make all their top-selling cars here in the U.S. Toyota also builds all of its trucks in North America with most of its operations in South Texas.