Toyota may transfer some Lexus RX output from Japan to Canada

Article by Anita Panait, on July 25, 2012

Toyota Motor Corp. mulls building more Lexus RX sport utility vehicles, the best-selling Lexus model worldwide, for North America by increasing its production capacity in Canada, a source told Reuters. The carmaker’s Ontario plant in Canada, the only site outside Japan that builds Lexus models, produced 65,000 RX SUVs in 2011.

Since it is costlier for Toyota to export vehicles from Japan due to the strong yen, the carmaker has been shifting some of its domestic production out of the country to places where it markets its products. Despite the strategy, Toyota has repeatedly vowed to retain the production of around 3 million vehicles annually in Japan, which almost tripled the domestic output of its local rivals Nissan and Honda.

According to a recent report by public broadcaster NHK, Toyota is planning to increase the production capacity of its Toronto plant in 2014 and is considering shifting production of about 30,000 RX SUVs from its Miyata factory in southern Japan to Canada. In 2011, Toyota built around 81,000 RX SUVs at its Miyata plant.

The Japanese site, however, would continue to produce the same amount of vehicles, as other models would replace the RX on the production line, the source told Reuters, adding that Toyota will announce this move soon. Toyota’s Miyata plant earlier this month commenced production of the Lexus ES 2013 model, most of which will be exported to the United States and China.

According to Lexus, the new RX range’s front section has an elegant and bold visual but it will definitely carry its own personality. These qualities though will be utilized across the brand’s products in order to strengthen further the identity of the Lexus across the different line-ups. The grille that the brand is known for will still be there but this time around, it’s placed on a higher position.

It makes use of either the halogen, Light Emitting Diode (LED), or the High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps. Highlighting the headlamps further will be the daytime running lights, in LED, integrated to it. This allows it to have the L-shaped arrowhead theme and thus emphasize just how unique the visuals are for the new RX lineup. Meanwhile the lamp clusters in the rear will also have clear lenses fitted to them but the design has been changed to give it a more horizontal sweeping emphasis.

It also allows the rear section to have a more elegant look. This highly aggressive design is not new but is merely an evolution of the style that was first implemented on the CT 200h range and even the GS lineup. Still, it gives the new RX a more commanding, as well as powerful, presence on the road. Its slanted lower grille and the upper grille shaped in an inverted trapezoid have been put together and now function as one element.

This connects the mid-section of the bumper and allows it to have that more pronounced spindle form. That it has a bolder and more contemporary appearance is cemented even further by the lower grille which now has the black-finish horizontal bars.

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