Carmaker Lexus goes beyond the road with luxury yacht launch


My other car is a luxury yacht: Carmaker Lexus has launched an ocean-going 19.4-metre flybridge cruiser.

Carmaker Lexus has launched a 19.4-metre luxury flybridge cruiser, the LY 650 yacht, working in partnership with American boatbuilder Marquis Yachts and Italian yacht-design studio Nuvolari Lenard.

Powered by twin Volvo Penta IPSTM engines, the 40t luxury ocean-going yacht is capable of speeds of more than 31 knots. The design makes full use of advanced carbon-fibre composite materials and has three staterooms with six berths and can accommodate 15 people. Equipped with an entertainment area, a fly bridge and what are described as car-like arched side windows reminiscent of a Lexus LS car.

Manufacturer Marquis Yachts applied the Toyota Production System, developed by Lexus’s owner Toyota, to its boat-building processes to achieve high quality and optimum productivity, it claimed. Lexus said in a statement: “As a market disruptor, it [the firm] has changed what luxury means in the automotive market with its hand-crafted and technologically advanced cars. After three decades of creating world-class vehicles, it is now venturing beyond the road.”

Boat-building processes

Equipped with a high-volume aft section, the LY 650 is said to have one of the widest beams in its class at 5.76m. For its premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the yacht was presented in an optional two-tone finish that is said to amplify its styling, contrasting with bright stainless-steel details including: a chafing plate on the bow, window frames and air inlets shaped in the famous Lexus ‘L’ motif.

Akio Toyoda, Lexus chief branding officer and president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said the launch revealed Lexus’s commitment to become a true luxury lifestyle brand, developing a portfolio beyond the car. “A collaborative team between Toyota and Marquis Yachts introduced the Toyota Production System to the boat manufacturing facility to improve productivity and quality,” said Toyoda.

Toyota Production System

“This allowed Lexus’s crafted philosophy of hospitality that anticipates a person’s wishes and meticulous attention to detail be realised in the form of a luxury yacht. I am truly looking forward to seeing the LY 650 display its beauty on oceans around the globe. As a mobility company, we are pursuing new possibilities for movement, even on the sea.”

The LY 650 is on sale for a price of about $3.7m (£3m).

While this is Lexus’s first foray into boat design, parent company Toyota brought its car-making expertise to sport vessels in 1997, with the launch of Toyota Marine Business Division. The business, which includes a boat-sales and service network, adopted aluminium hulls in its products and applied engine technology and quality control methods developed in its car-making sector. Its Ponam range of sport-fishing boats and cabin cruisers have proved popular in Japan.

Meanwhile, starting in 1948, Toyota led the development of lean manufacturing with its Toyota Production System – often referred to as Just In Time (JIT) Production.


Lexus’s LY 650 – at a glance

  • Flybridge cruiser design
  • Capable of speeds up to 31.4 knots with twin Volvo Penta IPSTM engines
  • Six berths and can accommodate 15 people
  • Constructed with advanced carbon fibre composite materials
  • Length: 19.4 metres
  • Weight 40t
  • Beam: 4.75 metres
  • Draft 1.37 metres
  • Price about $3.7 million (£3 million).

Equipped with a high-volume aft section, the LY 650 is said to have one of the widest beams in its class at 5.76m.