Lexus ES 350 to be Manufactured in Kentucky

Lexus ES Manufacturing

According to various media reports, Lexus will begin manufacturing the ES 350 at the Georgetown plant in Kentucky — here are the details from Reuters:

Toyota Motor Corp. has been offered $146.5 million worth of tax breaks from the State of Kentucky to add production capacity at its Georgetown plant where, a company source told Reuters on Thursday, it will build the Lexus ES from 2015.

The Georgetown facility will eventually produce as many ES cars as Toyota sells in the U.S. and Canada, which last year added up to 59,000 cars, the source said. The ES hybrid variant will still be made exclusively in Japan, he added.

The tax incentives being offered by Kentucky would be spread over 10 years on an estimated investment of $531 million, creating 750 new jobs, according to a copy of the preliminary approval.

This marks the first time that a Lexus has been built in the USA — the official announcement is expected tomorrow at a press conference with Toyota president Akio Toyoda and North America CEO Jim Lentz.

One other key fact that was revealed by the Nikkei newspaper in Japan:

The automaker plans to produce new Lexus models at the Kyushu plant to maintain domestic production of 3 million cars annually. The company is also planning to build a compact SUV, currently under development, at the factory. It aims to launch the new SUV next year.

[Source: Reuters]


  1. O no,Lexus made in USA?
  2. It does sound a little scary at first but keep in mind most Acuras are built in the U.S. and they're quality products.
    • That actually hasn't been my experience with Acura vehicles, and there is no comparison qualitywise between any Japan-built Lexus I've owned and Acura. I can even tell the difference between Canadian and Japanese RX 350s.
    • Ray

      The quality difference is that significant between canadian and jap RX?
    • Evn

      My family just got the '13 RX 350 this past July, which is manufactured in Canada. The interior doesn't always feel as expensive as what we paid for it. But the way I would describe it is that the RX is greater than the sum of its parts. I can pick out individual things in the interior build that feel a bit cheap or a bit poorly put together but as a whole everything is solid. All said, the perception that a Japan built Lexus is better is something that I'm just biased toward.
    • PG

      The problem with the RX interior is not where it's made. It's just an old design that is outclassed by its competition and newer Lexus models. As far as I know, the Cambridge, Ontario plant that makes North American RXs is among the highest-rated Toyota/Lexus plants worldwide. One way or another, if Lexus wants to play with the big boys (aka the German Three) Lexus needs to diversify its manufacturing and become a truly global enterprise. The aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster two years ago showed the risk of dependency on one production locale. In the beginning Lexus was no more than a US distribution channel for upmarket JDM Toyotas and it made perfect sense to produce them solely in Japan. These days, however, Lexus obviously has higher aspirations which necessitate a more aggressive business model.
    • Evn

      Business and financial aspects aside. In terms of just quality and design, I agree with you that the interior is already an old design, but just because it is an old design does not mean it cannot be put together better. My experience from being in the car and just looking and feeling everything I feel it could have been put (fitted) together better.
  3. This is not good?? All Lexus should be made in japan. When someone chooses to buy a Lexus over a Toyota, they simply want the absolute best quality possible and part of that are the Lexus flagship and state of the art manufacturing plants in Japan I was recently in USA and the RX350 in Australia is very noticeable of much higher quality!
  4. I think it's pretty clear that we all feel the same way.All I can say is I'm glad that I have no future plans to buy an ES.I really hope the quality doesn't suffer too much,but I won't hold my breath.I have gone out of my way to source vehicles for my self that were made in Japan,even if some of the same models were made in the US,I selected my vehicles from batches that were made in Japan.Sorry,but it's just the way I feel.
  5. Finally! I would say....Lexus needs to build more cars in the US - the biggest market for Lexus!! And for me the next Logical step is to build the IS at the new Toyota plant in doubt!!
  6. I wouldn't be surprised if the Lexus RX is next in line to be produced in USA. Because the new 2014 Kluger (Highlander) in Australia will be sourced from USA and not from Japan sadly.. Since both the RX & Highlander/Kluger are the same platform, I wouldn't be surprised if the next gemeration of RX will all be produced in USA
    • Lexus RX is already coming from the Toyota Plant in Canada (Cambridge) for the NA markets!! And the plant is getting a huge extension at the moment which will be completed in early 2014. From then on Cambridge will built the RX hybrid too...
  7. Please, no every car made In the USA that I had purchase with national or foreign logo has issues in the past why why why