Toyotas Kentucky plant is now turning out the redesigned Lexus ES350 sedan and adding a new F Sport variant

Toyota's Kentucky plant is now turning out the redesigned Lexus ES350 sedan and adding a new F Sport variant

Production of the redesigned 2019 Lexus ES350 on a new platform has begun at Toyota Motor's longest established US assembly site in Georgetown, Kentucky.
 
"We've implemented the all-new Lexus Global Architecture platform," said Susan Elkington, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK).

"The 2019 ES starts with a newly developed, more rigid chassis and delivers class-leading handling and power you can feel and hear."
 
The new platform allows the plant to build a car that is longer, lower and wider than before with wheels pushed closer to the corners, Elkington said. 
 
The new ES offers increased comfort and luxury.

"We strive to capture the Lexus mindset with every vehicle we build. We craft in quality, innovation, and delight for all the senses, for every customer."
 
Workers spent more than 150,000 hours training to build the ES model that delivers a higher level of performance than its predecessors. That includes sensory training that teaches assemblers, for instance, to feel for an abnormality as minute as a thread of hair.  
 
"After extensive sensory training, our team members rely on sight, sound and touch to know that the craftsmanship of the car is of the highest standard," said Mike Bridge, Lexus assistant general manager.

"A machine can't make those judgments, and that's why we take so much time to train before a new model goes into production."
 
Bridge said an example of this sensory training can be seen in body weld where workers are taught to feel gap differences measured in fractions as little as 0.3mm.

"This is equal to the thickness of three sheets of paper and can be felt even with gloves on," he said.
 
A Toyota plant in Canada was first to build Lexus outside Japan.

The brand began production of the ES in Kentucky in 2015 after spending US$360m on a new production facility on the Toyota Kentucky campus. The 800 Lexus workers now also will build the F Sport variant.

In 2016, after just a year of production, the Lexus line received the platinum award – a tie with Toyota's Kyushu 2 plant in Japan – in the JD Power & Associates' Initial Quality Study, representing the highest-performing assembly plant in the world for initial quality. The Kentucky plant has been among the highest JD Power rankings every year since.