Two Toyota officials said that the automaker plans to begin manufacturing Lexus models for the first time in the US.
CEO Akio Toyoda is expected to announce that the company will manufacture the Lexus ES in the States beginning with 2015. Toyota said yesterday, April 18th, it will make an announcement regarding the production of a new model, but it did not say what model or where it will be produced. In 2011, Lexus, which is one of the most important sources of profit for Toyota, was surpassed by BMW and Mercedes in the US luxury sales, ending 11 years as number one.
Now Toyota plans to bring Lexus in the first place again by making its models less like family cars and more like performance cars to become a tough competitor for its German rivals. The automaker will most likely manufacture the Lexus models at its Georgetown, Kentucky, factory.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority said it is willing to offer Toyota tax incentives of $146.5 million to expand its plant in Georgetown, its largest facility in North America. The expansion is to be made by 2015 and Toyota shall add a new model there. In order to get the full value of the credits the automaker will have to invest $531.2 million in the plant and add 570 new jobs.