- Only the third assembly plant for Lexus after Japan and North America
Lexus has finally announced the made-in-India product at the launch of the new flagship – the LC500h – in Delhi. The ES sedan will now be locally assembled at Toyota’s Bengaluru plant and is priced at Rs 59.95 lakhs (ex-showroom). With the local assembly, a new affordable variant of the mid-sized sedan is also introduced. Called the ES 300h Exquisite, the new trim is almost Rs 8 lakhs cheaper as it retails at Rs 51.90 lakhs.
Indian production of the ES has been in consideration since 2017. India would be the third manufacturing base for Lexus after Japan and North America. Since Lexus is highly known for their craftsmanship in making cars, their production facilities were always limited. After almost 25 years of presence in North America did the Japanese carmaker open their first plant in the USA.
The CBU imported ES was launched in India back in September 2018. Based on Toyota’s new-generation GA-K platform, the hybrid powertrain is Euro 6 compliant with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor delivering a combined 215bhp and 213Nm. Under the flamboyant design, the ES comes with a long list of features as well. In terms of safety, the 300h is offered with a class-leading 10 airbags, hill start assist, vehicle stability control, an anti-theft system, with break-in and tilt sensors to name a few.
The Lexus ES competes against the likes of BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF along with the Volvo S90. All these rivals already have a local manufacturing base in India and hence Lexus needed to follow suit to remain competitive in a lucrative market like ours.