Elite automakers pride themselves on the skill of their assembly line workers to create things few others can.
Lexus has taken that a step further for the people who hand-stitch the leather for the instrument panel on the redesigned 2013 ES 350 sedan.
Normally a task performed by robots, stitching the leather for the Lexus is handled by humans. But not just any seamstress can qualify.
Twelve "Takumi" experts do this job. To be certified, a worker must prove his manual dexterity by folding an origami-paper cat in less than 90 seconds with one hand. The nondominant hand, at that. It can take years to master this skill to a proper level of refinement.