Toyota Will Begin Constructing the Mirai at the Lexus LFA Plant
Toyota recently made the announcement that they would be releasing 700 Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars in 2015, but they made no mention of where the vehicles would be built, or how soon into the new year they would be completed. Now there is a bit more information and it seems that the Mirai Hydrogen cars will be put together at the same plant the Lexus LFA models were constructed in.
Why This Plant?
In 2010 500 Lexus LFA supercars were produced in the plant in Motomachi Japan. Each of these cars was carefully put together and most of the vehicle had to be hand-assembled. A very similar process is going to be needed for the Mirai when it begins construction in 2015. Toyota states that a large portion of their Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will need to be hand assembled as well, and the 700 unit count for next year will be similar to the production run needed for the LFA model.
Utilizing Empty Space
Another reason that the plant is being used is because it didn’t have a purpose until that point. Toyota wasn’t sure what they were going to use the plant for, and when they began trying to figure out where to build the Mirai vehicles it all came together. Before the first run of Mirai vehicles was set to be produced in the factory Toyota was considering using it to produce carbon fiber parts for some of their other vehicles. The plant has also been used to build a limited number of carbon fiber bicycles in the past as well, but has remained relatively inactive.
Releasing a Careful Number of Vehicles
While Toyota could begin producing the Hydrogen vehicles at a large scale, they are afraid that the demand won’t be there just yet with so few Hydrogen refueling stations out alongside of the roads today. By releasing the small run of vehicles they can protect themselves against lower demand, and help provide enough customers to keep the refueling stations in business, hopefully.
Now that we know where the Mirai is going to be produced, hopefully more concrete dates will be released about when the vehicle is going to come out and be sold to the public in 2015. The release of the Mirai could mark the beginning of a new era for car drivers, or it could end up being a dud. Only time will tell how much interest there is in the new model, but it’s certainly an exciting time to be an automaker selling such modern vehicles.