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Lexus Won't Produce in China Because They Happen to Like Quality

Says it'll keep building cars in Japan despite higher costs to Chinese consumers.

In a highly un-politically-correct statement, Lexus’ chief Tokuo Fukuichi said the brand has been refraining from producing its cars in China 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 local production, unlike many of its automaker competitors, including BMW, Audi and Japanese counterparts like the luxury divisions of Honda and Nissan.

“Customers would leave us if we have any problems with quality because that is what they are seeking in a Lexus," he told Reuters. At this point, Lexus’ only manufacturing facility outside of Japan is located in Canada. Importing cars from Japan to China has led to high prices for Lexus cars in what still makes up its second-largest market. An entry level ES, for example, starts at $57,700 in China, versus $36,620 in the US. Lexus’ direct competitor, Infiniti, manufactures the Q50 and QX50 in China, and Honda will start making Acuras there in 2016.

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