Toyota looking for other ways to use carbon-fiber plant in Japan

Article by Anita Panait, on January 8, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp. is now looking for ways to repurpose a plant where it developed and hand-assembled the money-losing Lexus LFA sports car. Toyota opened the costly and very sophisticated carbon-fiber plant inside its Motomachi complex in October 2010, to produce superstrong yet lightweight carbon-fiber auto parts for the Lexus LFA.

Around 65 percent of the LFA's body, by weight, is carbon fiber. Toyota never expected the LFA to make a profit for Toyota, since it was envisaged as a halo car to demonstrate that Lexus engineering could compete in the rarified supercars league. Halfway through, the LFA’s development chief engineer Haruhiko Tanahashi dropped plans for an aluminum body.

He instead decided to give the LFA a carbon-fiber body, which ultimately sky-rocketed the sports car’s cost base. A Toyota official said that at one time, there were informal talks about another project after the current LFA project finishes. He, however, remarked that the current business environment is too poor, perhaps referring to the strong Japanese yen that saps profit of import-oriented companies in Japan.

The last Lexus LFA came out of the plant on Dec. 14, 2012, and Toyota may now have to employ its carbon-fiber expertise to develop and produce a new product, together with the $375,000 sports car. The plant is now considered as near-idle. For now, LFA fans may stop dreaming about a new derivate of the Lexus vehicle.

Topics: toyota, japan

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

August 17, 2017 is a sad day for the Dodge Viper, its fans, enthusiasts and its admirers. It is the day when the last Dodge Viper rolled off the assembly...
by - August 20, 2017
A few months ago, Mercedes-Benz promised that they will be treating everyone to a “big surprise” during the Monterey Car Week. And true enough, many of us were stunned as...
by - August 19, 2017
McLaren has already shown some interest in electrifying their models. And initially, we thought that they will just use hybrid systems to use across their current lineup. Nevertheless, we have...
by - August 19, 2017
Fifty years after its glorious victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford launches the 2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition at the 2017 Monterey Car Week. The red...
by - August 18, 2017
Hyundai has recently unveiled an unnamed pre-production model of its new fuel cell SUV. We don’t know what to call this model just yet, but sources say that this model...
by - August 18, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries