LEXINGTON, KY (4/25/2013) - In 2015, for the first time ever, a Lexus vehicle will roll off the production line of a United States plant when Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) begins producing the best-selling ES 350 in Georgetown.
As the largest manufacturing facility outside Japan, TMMK currently employs approximately 6,600 individuals, while the planned expansion will add 750 new jobs and a dedicated assembly line. Toyota plans to invest $360 million for the expansion, as well as an additional $171.2 million refurbishing other parts of the plant. The combined $531 million investment represents the single largest Toyota has made in the Georgetown plant since 1991.
All told, some 50,000 Lexus vehicles a year will be produced at TMMK, bringing the plant's yearly total to 550,000. While the announcement is momentous, symbolically it made sense for Toyota to start manufacturing Lexus cars in the U.S. in general, and in Kentucky specifically.
“Lexus was founded in the United States, so it is only fitting that we are bringing the production of luxury sedans for our U.S. customers back to where the brand was born,” said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation. “It is also fitting that we chose Kentucky because it was Toyota’s first stand-alone plant in America. So in a way, for manufacturing, Kentucky is Toyota’s home. It also has some of the most-experienced Toyota team members in the world."
Mr. Toyoda's high praise for the TMMK personnel was also echoed by Daniel Lowry, a spokesperson for the Cabinet of Economic Development, who emphasized that Lexus wanted their best people working on the first U.S. expansion of the brand's manufacturing, a distinction the Georgetown workforce has earned over the years.
Kentucky Gov. Beshear was also quick to point out the positive ripple effect the expansion will have on Kentucky's sizable automotive supplier base, as well as Kentucky's economy. In an uncertain economic climate, Toyota's announcement is good news for the Commonwealth.
Information provided by Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Photo provided by SurfKY News
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