Toyota to build luxury brand in Kentucky

April 18, 2013 at 7:59 AM

TOYOTA CITY, Japan, April 18 (UPI) -- Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. is preparing to build a luxury Lexus model car in the United States, a person familiar with the plans said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday a source close to the company said Toyota will move part of its production of Lexus ES350 models from an assembly plant in Kyushu, Japan, to one in the United States, which is the top market for that model.

Specifically, Toyota will move some production to a plant in Kentucky.

Currently, the ES350 is made in Japan but not sold there. They are all shipped to the Middle East, North America or to other parts of Asia, the Journal said.

The move would mark the first time the Lexus is built in the United States although one model, the Lexus RX, is built in Canada.

Production in Kentucky is expected to start in 2015.

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