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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Lexus World Headquarters To Have Its Own Test Track


Lexus is building its very own world headquarters in a bid to accelerate development and improve innovation. The new complex located within the Toyota Technical Center in Shimoyama, set to open in 2024, will house everyone involved with the Japanese premium brand from designers and engineers to purchasing, production and sales management, and even technicians sent by suppliers.

Currently, Lexus offices are scattered among the departments and divisions of parent company, Toyota.

The location of the new head office is unusual in that it’s not located in a bustling area of a major metropolitan city. Instead, it’s situated within Toyota’s so-called “mini-Nürburgring” which is 30 minutes away from Toyota’s own corporate headquarters in Toyota City, Nagoya.

The Shimoyama complex is so tucked away that it’s only reachable by a two-lane road that winds through “rice fields, cherry blossom groves, and a mountain pass.” It doesn’t even have a convenience store nearby, according to an Automotive News story.

Once it goes on line, around 3,300 people will be working there including those at Lexus who will be working on the brand’s “next chapter.” This will entail a shift towards battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that carry a unique “Lexus-ness.”

Born from Toyota president and chairman Akio Toyoda’s push that driving will always matter (even with EVs), Lexus will sharpen its Lexus Driving Signature. Instead of being enamored with digital gadgetry, engineers will imbue their BEVs with a unique kind of sensory and emotional feel.

To that end, the Lexus building at Shimoyama will have multiple floors. The first is a series of garages where engineers, designers, and suppliers can work on prototypes, including being able to test them on the test course right outside. The second floor, meanwhile, will house engineering, while the third floor will serve as the brand’s design studio where it’ll have its own clay modeling mills, wood shop, and paint booth.

Aside from the office spaces, the Lexus campus will also have its own cafeteria, gym and yoga center, and of course, it’s very own convenience store.

Some pundits feel Lexus’ move may risk them losing touch not just with the development and innovation happening at Toyota (since they’ll now be separated), but also with consumer tastes and trends. On the other hand, Lexus hopes to use this opportunity to hasten corporate decision-making enabling them to create even-better cars.

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