While on the topic of the Lexus LFA production facility, Club Lexus member gengar recently visited the Motomachi plant to see his LFA being built, and recounts the experience in vivid detail — here are some quotes:
The tour was led by LFA production manager Shigeru Yamanaka. Accompanying him was LFA chief engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi and a Toyota-supplied translator. Having the chief engineer as part of the experience was a great honor.
Tanahashi was very amusing on the tour – he fills the role of chief engineer and primary brain trust of the LFA quite well. He didn’t speak much English but would interrupt the tour from time to time to point out particularly interesting aspects of the production process or supply technical terms that were difficult to translate, and would also sometimes take over the tour to lead us himself, including on multiple occasions having us go right onto the assembly line next to LFA workers to examine certain aspects of the production process (this would cause the plant manager to run off in a hurry to grab us hard hats).
Because most of the assembly is done by hand, there is very little machinery and therefore the facilities are very quiet. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from people who have done factory tours or delivery programs for their vehicles is that the experiences are far too commercialized and uninvolving, and the LFA tour certainly was a big contrast to that.
LFA units 42-59 were in some form of production when I visited. This includes my unit which recently had its structural chassis completed (carbon monocoque and aluminum subframes only) and had just finished machine-based stress testing. Needless to say it was really special to see my LFA in that form, and I feel truly lucky to have visited during my LFA’s production. My LFA is scheduled to go to the assembly line next week and should leave for delivery before the end of the month.
This is only a small portion of the full write-up — the entire article should be required reading for anyone interested in the LFA & its development. Special thanks to gengar for taking the time to put together such a detailed description of his experience!
[Source: Club Lexus]