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2 November 2017

Five things about the Lexus LC500 assembly plant that'll tickle your OCD

By James ClearyJames Cleary
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary) The Lexus Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens. (image credit: James Cleary)

​In recent years Lexus has hung its brand hat on design, but ultimate quality and craftsmanship still get a solid look in. And a visit to the brand's Motomachi plant, where final assembly of every LC500 Coupe happens, is a clear and clinically clean reminder of that fact. Here are five cool things we saw during our visit last week.

1. It's clean, as in eat your dinner off the floor clean. Special shoes, white cotton gloves and overalls, temperature control, air quality management, the whole nine yards on as close to a dust and dirt-free environment as they can manage.

  • It's clean, as in eat your dinner off the floor clean. (image credit: James Cleary) It's clean, as in eat your dinner off the floor clean. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • Special shoes... (image credit: James Cleary) Special shoes... (image credit: James Cleary)
  • White cotton gloves and overalls... (image credit: James Cleary) White cotton gloves and overalls... (image credit: James Cleary)
  • the whole nine yards on as close to a dust and dirt-free environment as they can manage. (image credit: James Cleary) the whole nine yards on as close to a dust and dirt-free environment as they can manage. (image credit: James Cleary)

2. The people in the plant love to shout it out loud when they've nailed a key process. Lots of people calling out ‘Yoshi'. Sure, they might be Super Mario fans, but the word means 'all right' or 'okay' in English, and you hear it A LOT at Motomachi.

  • The people in the plant love to shout it out loud when they've nailed a key process. (image credit: James Cleary) The people in the plant love to shout it out loud when they've nailed a key process. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • Lots of people calling out ‘Yoshi' which means ‘all right' or ‘okay' in English. (image credit: James Cleary) Lots of people calling out ‘Yoshi' which means ‘all right' or ‘okay' in English. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • You hear it A LOT at Motomachi. (image credit: James Cleary) You hear it A LOT at Motomachi. (image credit: James Cleary)

3. All key components are torqued down by hand. No nasty robotised torque tools here. Every setting is achieved by a human type person, and the info is automatically fed through an iPad to the main system to ensure accuracy. In fact, there's only one robot in the whole place!

  • All key components are torqued down by hand. (image credit: James Cleary) All key components are torqued down by hand. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • Every setting is achieved by a human type person. (image credit: James Cleary) Every setting is achieved by a human type person. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • In fact, there's only one robot in the whole place! (image credit: James Cleary) In fact, there's only one robot in the whole place! (image credit: James Cleary)

4. The boss isn't satisfied with 99.9 per cent on time performance. Yep, that's right, the number on the whiteboard for that day's production (12 cars in the day shift, and 17 or 18 for the night shift) could have been so easily rounded up, but close enough is not good enough. Sheesh!

  • The banner says 'Beautiful Motimachi - From tradition to future' The banner says 'Beautiful Motimachi - From tradition to future'
  • The number on the whiteboard for that day's production could have been so easily rounded up, but close enough is not good enough. The number on the whiteboard for that day's production could have been so easily rounded up, but close enough is not good enough.

5. People own up to mistakes, so they can be fixed and won't happen again. Lexus says a culture of owning up to errors is fostered, and people on the shop floor embrace it. No arse covering, is the name of the LC500 game.

  • People own up to mistakes, so they can be fixed and won't happen again. (image credit: James Cleary) People own up to mistakes, so they can be fixed and won't happen again. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • Lexus says a culture of owning up to errors is fostered. (image credit: James Cleary) Lexus says a culture of owning up to errors is fostered. (image credit: James Cleary)
  • No arse covering, is the name of the LC500 game. (image credit: James Cleary) No arse covering, is the name of the LC500 game. (image credit: James Cleary)

Is cleanliness next to godliness? Tell us what you think in the comments below.