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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For the first time a Lexus will be produced in the United States. Toyota announced today that the Lexus ES 350 will be assembled at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.
The move will result in 750 new jobs being created, adding to the 6,600 that are already there. Toyota is investing $360 million in the plant, where about 50,000 Lexus models will be produced each year, bringing the total capacity of the plant to more than 550,000 vehicles a year.
State officials approved a $146.5 million tax package Wednesday to help with the cost of the proposed $531 million expansion.
The Georgetown plant, which already has 6,100 full-time workers, was competing with other Toyota factories for the opportunity to build the new model.
Toyota produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Venza.
It will be the first time the Lexus ES will be assembled outside Japan. It's the best-selling Lexus sedan.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said in a news release, "The establishment of production for the Lexus ES 350 will also afford Kentucky a tremendous opportunity to expand and strengthen its vast supplier base, creating even more growth potential in the future. Kentucky is proud of the confidence Toyota continues to demonstrate in our vibrant and skilled workforce as they prepare to make a vehicle model that, like them, has earned a reputation for high quality."
The governor also pointed out that the new investment in Toyota will also help suppliers and other support businesses, which means more jobs.
The state has given preliminary approval for tax incentives up to $146 million.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said, "...in a way, for manufacturing, Kentucky is Toyota's home. It also has some of the most-experienced Toyota team members in the world. I want to personally thank Gov. Steve Beshear for creating a positive business environment and supporting our partnership, which is still going strong after more than a quarter century."