Lexus dealers are pressuring parent company Toyota to build the new 2013 ES in North America.

According to Ward's Auto, Tim Morrison, vice president of sales and dealer development, admits dealers are clamoring for the ES to be built in North America to help hedge against a strong Japanese yen. The ES, Lexus' top selling sedan in America, is currently built in Kyushu, Japan. But the strong yen has cut into the car's profitability.

Morrison says that the company's North American factory capacity is already limited, but as the brand looks to expand, it will consider finding places to build the ES overseas.

Last year, Lexus sold 41,000 ES sedans, even with the constraints from production problems following the March tsunami. The redesigned 2013 model will include a hybrid version, which Lexus expects to draw new customers.

The ES remains a strong conquest vehicle for Lexus, with 63 percent of ES customers new to the brand, Lexus tells Autoblog. However, only 28 percent stay with the ES once it's time to get a new car.

Last year, Lexus lost its title as America's No. 1 U.S. luxury brand, but officials have said they intend on recapturing it. In 2011, Lexus sold 198,000 vehicles in the U.S., and this year, it hopes to reach 250,000 vehicles.


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  • 62 Comments
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Build it in Georgetown, on the same line as the Avalon - they're on the same platform now.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      "63 percent of ES customers new to the brand, Lexus tells Autoblog. However, only 28 percent stay with the ES once it's time to get a new car." Interesting stat. I wonder how this compares with other entry level luxury models like the BMW 3 series, Audi A3 or Merc C class?
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      They could build it in Georgetown,Kentucky.
      AJ
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this looks better than the GS and even the Lacrosse.
        miketim1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AJ
        I agree. Very smooth line and the bigger wheels looks much better on it
        GotchaSucker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AJ
        Not sure about the Lacrosse but it does look pretty good. I don't **** the wood inside though, makes it look old.
      Daekwan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm a bit biased, as I've always been a fan of the Lexus ES series and have owned two of the ES300's in the past. But this car looks absolutely amazing!! About the only gripe I have, is they still have that ugly shifter. Why not move to something more elegant. I'm not in the market for one anytime soon, but I'll definitely keep my eye on out pricing.
      croshatch
      • 2 Years Ago
      But profits will still go back to Japan.
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 2 Years Ago
        @croshatch
        The money earned by Americans will far surpass whatever profit is sent back to Japan.
        Frederick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @croshatch
        Oh please. It's still more US jobs. This ES is also the first ES designed in America. If where the "profits" went were that important then companies like Walmart would be good for the US, despite their almost exclusively Chinese manufactured merchandise.
        Bruce Lee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @croshatch
        Profits go wherever there are Toyota shareholders, which is all over the world. Especially since Japanese Toyota execs don't make as much money as their US counterparts, more profits end up going to workers and shareholders who live all over the world. American investors actually make up a pretty significant portion of Toyota's investors if you look at their investor summaries. And by your (rather stupid) logic then, China doesn't benefit at all from Apple manufacturing their goods there? Of course China benefits, and so does the US when Apple sells stuff profitably-production is a win-win, not a win-lose scenario so it's pure stupidity to trash new jobs coming here.
      dodie1990
      • 2 Years Ago
      Profit from Japanese cars, no matter where assembled, goes back to Japan,. It does not stay in the U.S. Those assembled here are made with parts from Japan and workers are paid about 1/2 what our domestic auto workers make. Also the benefits, when there are some, are limited and costly. And the working conditions are much more severe than at domestic auto makers.
        farlowe_night
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dodie1990
        Another ignoramus spouting off UAW propaganda outta his ass! Japanese auto workers compensation is comparable to US auto workers in terms of yearly salary & health benefits but they don't get the inflated 401K plans provided by the UAW. Also, Japanese auto companies don't pay their workers $50/hour to mow the lawn or do janitorial work around the plant. As far as plant technology, the Japanese are leaders in the use of robotics & advanced tech in their production lines. Pick up a copy of Monocle at the local newsstand & take a look at the inside of the Lexus facility in Fukuoka and compare it to a Chevy or Ford plant. Not too mention the highly qualified & skilled workforce who take an almost artisan like approach to their jobs. I'd much rather buy a Lexus built in Japan than anywhere in the US.
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dodie1990
        Stop being so xenophobic.
      Kwijiboz
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is dangerous. I know Merc and BMW build many cars now outside of Germany now, but I honestly believe that having Lexus' built in Japan actually holds more sway than a Mecedes built in Germany. Maybe over the years (decades?) the euro brands have been diluted because of this, but I think the strongest reason I might choose a Lexus is they're put together by the best assemblers on the planet. In every other way (looks, feel etc) I'm still a Europhile, but the assurance of such a painless ownership proposition afforded by a Japan-built Lexus may eventually change my mind.
        David J. Bernstein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kwijiboz
        Eh, Lexus aren't as reliable as people make them out to be. My mother had an RX300 which had a number of quality issues and a complete engine failure at not even 36,000 miles. Go on a Lexus forum and read about the numerous problems their owners experience. These cars have problems like any other and in my experience Lexus is the most overrated appliance out there.
      richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      With the ES being basically a glorified Camry, are these things catching on fire also?
        schizzle
        • 2 Years Ago
        @richard
        Actually, the next-gen ES will be basically a glorified Avalon. Whoopee.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its almost surprising that it isn't already built in the US seeing as how its a trumped-up Camry and I believe all Camrys for US consumption are built here.
      kev
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love how these Companies shop States that pay for them to open for Business.. Southern States.. Sometimes it cost Billions to lure them.. Then the Cheaper labor.. Then when they open in the middle of nowhere?? You have to pay out tons of money to truck parts and stuff into the place.. Then truck what you make back out.. And i'm talking many times over a thousands miles one way many times
        MP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kev
        They don't make the car and sell them in one place. They will need to ship them all over the country... so what's the problem?
        joper201
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kev
        Another union tool heard from.
      John
      • 2 Years Ago
      A lot better than the current one but the rear end is a damn near carbon copy of the Sonata, which is a good thing imo as it's a beautiful design. I know this comment will probably break the ranking system for negative votes by the ever increasing number of people who hate anything Hyundai and the abundance of Lexus supporters but look at a side by side of the taillight view and the resemblance is uncanny.
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