Report: Lexus may produce next ES in North America

The tumultuous economy seems to be pushing car manufacturers to streamline production costs more than ever before. Not too long ago, it was more cost effective to have North American cars produced outside of the United States.

Now though, brands are consolidating and moving production stateside more than ever. Toyota was one of the first brands to an establish an American division that was virtually separate from the Japanese domestic market. As a result, vehicles like the Camry have been built in Kentucky.

Word in the pipeline now is that Lexus is considering on moving production to the Lexus ES stateside.

“One of the requests we’ve had from our dealer council is to figure out a way to get the ES – or one of our other volume vehicles – here just to blunt the (negative effects of) currency exchange,” said Lexus’s vice president of sales and dealer development, Tim Morrison. “(But) when you look at whether you want to shift production to North America, that’s a very big decision. It’s a lot of money, and there’s timing with changeovers, etc.”

Morrison added that Lexus’s North American plants do not have excess capacity available and so far Japan’s own capacity is suitable for their own market.

Though because of the trend to consolidate operations on a global level, Lexus is looking into potentially jumping on that bandwagon to grow globally. As part of that process, Morrison also added that Lexus is certainly looking to lower the average ownership age of its customers, even for the ES.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: WardsAuto