TOKYO, July 3 Toyota Motor Corp will
start making its luxury Lexus brand cars at its Motomachi plant
in Japan in August, the automaker said on Thursday, expanding
its production base as it seeks to boost both sales and the
brand's status globally.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda placed the 25-year-old Lexus
brand directly under his oversight last year and has vowed to
make it into a premium marque recognised globally. Currently,
about half of Lexus's global sales are made in the United
Toyota will shift production of the GS sedan for exports to
Motomachi from the nearby Tahara plant in central Japan, while
at the Tahara plant it will start manufacturing a new model,
spokesman Ryo Sakai said.
Toyota currently makes Lexus vehicles at the Tahara and
Miyata plants, as well as at its plant in Ontario, Canada. It
will also start making Lexus vehicles at its Kentucky plant in
the United States from summer 2015.
Toyota, the world's best-selling automaker, sold around
523,000 Lexus vehicles in 2013, up 10 percent from a year
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by David Holmes)