Toyota Opens Technical Center in the Belly of the Beast (MI)

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Not the best metaphor for a writer (or reader) who’s feeling a bit thick-headed this AM (although I have to say, Jay, that Coppola’s Director’s Cut chardonnay is wicked pissa). Anyway… first we had Honda’s robot playing violin for the Grosse Pointe gadflies at the symphony hall. Now Toyota is expanding– as in opening not closing– a new facility in York Township. Toyota’s press release re: their new Toyota Technical Center (TTC) is full of gloating, snickering and sneering. Not. But it does feature some of the same characters we last saw sticking their noses in the federal taxpayers’ trough, rooting for bailout billions on behalf of ToMoCo’s competitors. Yes, Shigeki Terashi, TTC president, “celebrated the grand opening of its new engineering and safety testing facilities here today with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Congressman John Dingell, as well as several hundred government officials, community leaders, suppliers and Toyota team members.” Those team members will now be “engaged in engineering design, prototype building, vehicle evaluation and engineering, materials engineering, powertrain tuning and design, regulatory affairs and advanced technical research. TTC has developed the Avalon, Sienna, Solara, Tundra and Venza vehicles for the North American market.” Now what?

toyota opens technical center in the belly of the beast mi

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Casper00 Casper00 on Oct 09, 2008

    perfect, now if they can only bring back the Supra and the turbo-charge Mr2.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Oct 09, 2008
    perfect, now if they can only bring back the Supra and the turbo-charge Mr2. Sadly, this is exactly the wrong time. If you're lucky, you might get the Aygo and the Camry wagon.

  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.
  • Stuart de Baker Chris! When asked for car advice, I just ask 'em what they want out of a car. And I have my prompts: fun to drive, safety, economy, longevity (I have Consumer Reports annual auto issues going back so I can help people with used cars, too), road trips vs in town, etc, and what sort of body style do they want and why. (If they want an SUV because they think it's safer, I'll suggest they consider large sedans, but if they put major emphasis on safety, I'll check the latest safety stats for whatever cars might satisfy their other desires.
  • Stuart de Baker I don't speak to Jeeps and I don't approve of driving off road, especially in places like Utah where the vegetation won't come back for years.
  • Kanu Actually, I think this makes a certain amount of sense.The average age of light vehicles in operation in the US is now 12.2 years. This means that the typical useful life of a light vehicle is around 25 years.The big virtue of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is that the infotainment system in your car uses the relatively up-to-date technology of your smartphone rather than the vintage technology that existed when your car was built.But the useful life of EVs is nowhere near 25 years. It’s more like 8 years. That’s when the battery needs to be replaced, and that’s when you discover that the price of the new battery is more than the market value of your eight-year-old car with a new battery.So if your EV has built-in infotainment technology, that technology will still be relatively up-to-date when your EV goes to the scrap yard.
  • Deanst I like most things Peugeot recently, along with Skoda wagons and, for practicality’s sake, a Toyota Corolla hybrid wagon. And the Honda e.