These Luxury Cars Are Inspired by Tea and the Art of Paper Folding

When it comes to creating cars, each carmaker goes about the process a bit differently. Each manufacturer has the same basic end goal––produce a vehicle that consumers want to buy. However, some brands go about it with more attention to detail. Each Lexus factory really goes the extra mile. For making Lexus luxury cars, automotive design is an art.

A Lexus LS 500h hybrid automobile
A Lexus LS 500h hybrid automobile | Luke Macgregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lexus is a Japanese car manufacturer with a reputation for building high quality, reliable products. That high quality is in part because of the extensive training that the factory employees receive. This idea, called ‘Takumi,’ which means master craftsman in Japanese.

2021 Lexus LC 500 | Lexus-
2021 Lexus LC 500 | Lexus-

Lexus factories in Japan

These Takumi craftsmen in Japan adhere to an extensive set of important paradigms. And their beautiful work is inspired by some interesting things. One of which is tea. Another is paper folding––or origami. Lexus luxury car manufacturing is truly special. Before the company leaders took Tech Radar to the factory, they wanted to set up the experience properly. An eye-opening visit to the Lexus luxury car design studio was followed by an upscale tea experience.

“You tend to think of most modern production cars as being far from hand built. High-volume components are punched out or moulded before being assembled with lots of robots and a few technicians on a constantly moving production line. It’s not very organic. But Japanese car manufacturer Lexus likes to do things a little differently.” 

Rob Clymo | Tech Radar

The ancient Japanese tea tradition goes a lot deeper than steeping a pre-packaged tea bag in some hot water. It’s that painstaking attention to detail and a serious nod to tradition that inspires the careful creation of each Lexus design and production.

The red seats of the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible.
2021 LC 500 Convertible | Lexus

Tea and Lexus luxury cars

Rob Clymo, with Tech Radar, writes of his experience having tea with the company in “a teahouse bar of the Yorozu Tea Salon, in downtown Fukuoka for a masterclass on the finer points of tea-making.” The tea house, a perfect blend of both tradition and modernity, was the ideal place for the masterminds behind the Lexus luxury car manufacturing to provide an easy and stimulating transition to inside the Lexus factory there in Japan.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless crossover concept | Lexus
Lexus LF-1 Limitless crossover concept | Lexus

The expensive and complex tea, with ‘umami’ flavor and ancient cultural roots is an experience. And after the experience, the Lexus factory suddenly makes more sense. So, Lexus luxury car production is an art with cultural roots––much like the artistic tea making.

Paper folding––it’s all in the details

Inspired by the careful craftsmanship and dexterity required to create origami folded paper art, Lexus luxury car design doesn’t miss a thing. Additionally, the continuous blend of the organic and inorganic methods and processes show us that Lexus will stop at nothing to ensure the craftsmanship holds true to the cultural Japanese roots, as well as the hunger for technological innovation.

Lexus LS luxury sedan stunning interior
The modern cockpit of the Lexus LS luxury sedan | Lexus

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So, Glass sculptures are brought in for details around door handles. And origami-inspired pleating on the walls requires collaboration with a professional fashion designer. Consequently, Lexus luxury cars are awry with details that need the expertise of true craftsmanship. Obviously, engineering is no different. When you buy car made in a Lexus factory, it’s been designed, redesigned, and perfected over and over again.