Says it'll keep building cars in Japan despite higher costs to Chinese consumers.
In a highly un-politically-correct statement, Lexus’ chief TokuoFukuichi said the brand has been refraining from producing its cars inChina because of perceived quality issues in local manufacturing. Speaking at the Auto China car show,he said that Lexus’ continuous emphasis on quality had kept it from launching localproduction, unlike many of its automaker competitors, including BMW, Audiand Japanese counterparts like the luxury divisions of Honda and Nissan.
“Customers would leave us if we have any problems withquality because that is what they are seeking in a Lexus," he told Reuters.At this point, Lexus’ only manufacturing facility outside of Japan is locatedin Canada. Importing cars from Japan to China has led to high prices for Lexuscars in what still makes up its second-largest market. An entry level ES, forexample, starts at $57,700 in China, versus $36,620 in the US. Lexus’ directcompetitor, Infiniti, manufactures the Q50 and QX50 in China, and Honda willstart making Acuras there in 2016.