Toyota said it may move some production of its Lexus luxury brand to the U.S. in order to combat the strength of the yen, reports Reuters.
Jim Lentz, U.S. chief for Toyota, said that the Lexus ES is a good candidate for U.S. production. The second highest volume vehicle in the Lexus lineup is just one of the options the company is considering moving to North America. But due to the high costs of transferring Lexus production from Japan to the U.S., Toyota will have to further monitor market conditions, Lentz said.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Toyota would likely produce the Lexus ES in its Georgetown, Ky. plant. This plant currently builds the Toyota Camry, which shares the same underpinnings as the ES.
The strength of the yen against the dollar and the euro has made it expensive for Toyota to export its cars across the world. Even though 70 percent of Toyota vehicles bound for North America are made in that region, the automaker is thinking of boosting this number further to battle unforgiving currency exchange rates.
Toyota also recently announced it would stop exporting the Lexus RX from Japan, shifting all production to North America. The automaker is investing $98.3 million to increase production capacity in its plant in Cambridge, Ontario in 2014 or later. The automaker is also considering shifting some more of its production to Mexico, but that a move to the U.S. would be more likely.
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