By on April 19, 2013

Production of the Lexus ES will move from Toyota’s plant in Kyushu, Japan to a plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, where its platform twin, the Toyota Avalon, is built.

Previously, the Lexus RX was the only Lexus vehicle made outside Japan, produced at a plant in Ontario. The move to Kentucky was no doubt helped along by a $146.5 million “tax incentive package”. The Wall Street Journal reports that the expansion taking place to accommodate Lexus will result in 570 new jobs.

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19 Comments on “Lexus ES Production Moving To Kentucky...”


  • avatar
    WRohrl

    I think you may need to reread your second paragraph, “Previously, the Lexus RX was the only Lexus vehicle made outside the USA” – Actually, EVERY Lexus vehicle is made outside the USA….

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    How will my peers know I’m better than them if my Lexus is manufactured in the U.S.??!!

    • 0 avatar
      WRohrl

      Your peers won’t even know, much like the average BMW X5 driver has no idea that they are made in South Carolina…So have no fear, you can remain smug :-)

      • 0 avatar
        reclusive_in_nature

        Aaaarrrrggghhhhhhh! Nooooo! Not BMW too!

        Guess I’ll have to insinuate that they’ll somehow be of lesser quality than if they’d been manufactured in Japan or Germany. That’s usually enough to placate my fellow automotive snobs (douchebags).

  • avatar

    Another 750 jobs coming to my adopted hometown!

    If you’ve never toured the factory, I highly recommend it (though they do recommend reservations). Going through stamping where the 300 ton press does a whole side of a vehicle at once is great.

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    Only $250,000 per job! But in terms of this usual type of upward wealth transfer, it’s not too bad. Last I looked, companies like Boeing usually provide jobs at about 1-2 million tax dollars per job.

  • avatar
    Jonathan H.

    It’s going to be interesting watching this plant over the next few years. Being from the area and working as a contractor on occasion I have gotten to know a lot of the employees there from upper management all the way to production team members. The plant has passed its twenty year anniversary and a surprising amount of the employees have been there since the beginning. Toyota has been offering up early retirement packages to move out some of the expensive old guard(That’s not the official company line but it’s fairly obvious what they’re doing). They aren’t being replaced with new full-time permanent employees but with temps from a local employment agency for far less money than factory employees make. My guess is that the 750 new jobs will all be from the temp service as well. The easy jobs the long-timers work to obtain to get off the assembly line are being given to the contract workers. Jobs like fork lift and tugger operators. Those are much less costly to train a person to do as opposed to the more specialized and quality-focused assembly positions that the seasoned workers perform. The turn-over rate for the temps is pretty high from what I understand so spending the effort to teach them to do certain tasks is a risk. I know I wouldn’t do that type of work for twelve dollars an hour or so. I’m not sure what Toyota’s long term strategy is but I’m sure Bob King is watching closely.

  • avatar
    Reino

    I’ve never understood the point of this car. For Lexus buyers looking for RWD competition with the 3-series and 5-series, there is the IS and GS. The ES is a FWD sedan that is not much different than a loaded Camry. What market is there for this car?

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      Its to go-to choice for middle-aged female realtors and provides excellent second/third-hand service to wives of foreign nationals here on work/study visas.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      I’ve worked with 3 female realtors in the last 15 years, and they all had ES300′s and RX’s (of different vintages, obviously).

      They all said if you have to put 300,000 miles on a car in 5 years’ time, you can’t not drive Japanese if don’t want to be stranded in the middle of a showing. Two of them used to drive an E class and a 5 series.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      The ES is Lexus’s best selling sedan obviously theres a huge market for it. Your average Joe and Jane doesn’t care/know about the difference in FWD/RWD.

    • 0 avatar
      BrianL

      First, not everyone who wants luxury wants RWD. Not everyone who wants luxury wants something more performance oriented. Also, this is priced far below the GS and just a bit higher than the IS, but with much more room. Finally, as for the market…

      Top selling Lexus in the US is the RX by far. Second best selling, ES. It is a steep drop off after that.

      Honestly, this is why I think there is a market for the XTS with Caddy, if it was a little smaller. Not everyone wants something performance oriented, but they want luxury. They may want FWD. There are enough ES buyers out there for it, so why not.

  • avatar
    Ayo

    I thought the new ES twin is the Avalon??

  • avatar
    Ion

    Cue the “Now I’ll never buy one they’ll ruin the quality by building in
    ‘merca” crowd.


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