Hand craftsmanship is a discipline embedded deeply in Japanese culture and our 10 Takumi reflect the value that Lexus places on such artistry, and has indeed become famous for.
Since the introduction of 10 Takumi to our Tahara plant, they have been tasked with personally ensuring that each vehicle is built and finished to unprecedented standards. Each of the Takumi applies his skills in a dedicated area from engine assembly to paint-bay right through to driving dynamics. As well, their talents have been programmed into many of the robotic functions, raising precision standards to exceptional new heights.
To qualify as a Lexus Takumi, determined team members aspiring to the position must take part in a series of rigorous qualifying exams. Not least among them is the origami test, which requires craftspeople to create an origami cat from one piece of paper with their non-dominant hand, in less than 90 seconds. Completing the exam requires considerable dexterity and results in well-earned respect. But it is just one step in a series of tests of equal difficulty.
These scrutinising exercises might sound ludicrously tough, but they're key to the success of Lexus as a luxury manufacturer. Craft is at the heart of the Lexus brand, and it is evident throughout its vehicles: in the seamless stitching that runs through the LS, in the carbon-fibre package that adorns the RC F, even in parts of vehicles that aren't visible to customers but are finished with incredible precision nevertheless.
MEET THE TAKUMI
After three decades in the paint shop Sakakibara is a paint guru who can spot the tiniest blemishes in a paint job that other manufacturers would overlook. Not a single painted body gets by his station without numerous inspections.
Suganuma's specialty is body welding and he needs only one glance at an irregular body to know if it has been properly assembled. His mission is to train every worker in his division to develop the same instinctual feel for the job.
Tashima has spent his career in body stamping and can detect tiny indentations or scratches on body pieces and moulds that others would miss. He is passionate about the fact that each mould should be as flawless and perfect as the next.