Ward’s Looks at Lexus Manufacturing

Toyota Tahara Manufacturing Plant

One of the defining characteristics of Lexus has always been the care taken in assembling their vehicles, and the Toyota Tahara Plant is the very definition of that attention to detail—Ward’s Auto takes a closer look at some of the manufacturing processes that go into building a Lexus:

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Tahara plant, now in its 31st year of operation, long has set the benchmark for quality in the Japanese auto industry.

And with the launch of the Lexus LS 460 flagship in 2006, the auto maker raised the bar even higher.

The LS is given six coats of paint, including two base and two clear coats. Spray angle and stroke are programmed to replicate the best of human painters. Select coats are wet-sanded to create a superior sheen.

Upon entering the line, which employs 100 inspectors and takes three hours to pass through, a robot shoots 1,300 photos of the body’s surface. Those are analyzed by computer to determine if there are any marks, including defects barely visible to the human eye. Potential problems are red-flagged for human inspectors, who fix them, if necessary, before signing off.

This article is the latest in a string delving into Lexus manufacturing—a couple weeks ago, Discovery aired a special on the assembly of the RX 350, and before that, there was a press release detailing the extraordinary process of building a hybrid engine.

This renewed focus on Lexus’ attention to detail is exactly what’s needed to better define the brand’s character, or rather, uncover the original character. In these last couple years, the push has been a “lifestyle” message, which is limited to a very specific demographic, but this pursuit of perfection is much more universal.

It reminds me of this ES commercial, which remains a favorite even after two years:

(Be sure to read the full article at Ward’s Auto.)