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Kentucky Toyota Plant First in Nation to Produce Lexus

Lexus Pressroom

For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States and it will be made at the Georgetown Toyota plant.  The formal announcement came this morning from officials in New York and Scott County.  Governor Beshear says it means 750 new Kentucky jobs at Toyota.

“We realize the care and the pride that you take in that vehicle and that it requires the utmost in a skilled workforce, not to mention top quality components.  Your confidence in the quality of Kentucky’s workers, especially our team here in Georgetown is appreciated and well placed,” said Beshear.

Established in January 1986, the Georgetown assembly plant is Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan.  The expansion of a state incentive program is credited for playing a key role in Toyota’s expansion decision.  Akio Toyoda is President of Toyota Motor Corporation

“It is also fitting that Cho chose Kentucky because it was Toyota’s first stand alone plant in America.  So, in a way, from manufacturing, Kentucky is Toyota’s home,” said Toyoda.

Some 50 thousand Lexus vehicles are expected to be made annually.

Steve St. Angelo previously served as Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky President.

“About eight years ago when I moved to Kentucky, I happened to go to the Lexus of Lexington dealership.  Michael, that sounds pretty cool, Lexus of Lexington.  What if, What if we could build a Lexus in Georgetown.  And that’s how this began,” added St. Angelo.

St Angelo went on to offer a suggestion for Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

“Mayor Gray, you may want to change your name to Lexuston.  Maybe not,” joked St. Angelo.

St. Angelo was recently named to head up Toyota operations in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Toyota began production at the Scott County plant in 1988.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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