By on June 17, 2010

Nice digs! Picture courtesy businessweek.com

Toyota is getting out of the carmageddon-caused  and recall-related funk and is moving forward with worldwide expansion plans. According to The Nikkei [sub], Toyota has resurrected all key projects planned before the financial crisis.

In Brazil, Toyota will build its second assembly plant. Plans had been put on hold when the financial crisis hit, now they are being revived.

With an annual output capacity of slightly more than 100,000 units, the plant will produce out small cars for the local market as early as next year.

Plans for the plant were drawn up in summer 2008, but the project was frozen as new-vehicle sales dropped. In the recovery since then, the Brazilian automobile market grew 11% to 3.14 million units last year. And through the first four months of this year, Brazil has surpassed Germany in auto sales to become the world’s fourth-largest market after China, the U.S. and Japan.

As reported by our man in Brazil, Fiat, VW and GM hold more than 60 percent of the Brazilian market. Toyota was in the #8 slot in May. Toyota hopes that the launch of a new model, designed especially for emerging markets will bump up its market share and ranking.

In the U.S.A., Toyota will bring a factory in t Mississippi on-stream in mid-2011. That facility was slated to start operations this year, but was put on halt. The plant will will churn out about 100,000 Corollas a year.

In China, the also originally suspended plant in Changchun is going ahead.

Once continent’s gain, is the other continent’s loss: Toyota will “consolidate” assembly lines in Japan and the U.K.

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24 Comments on “Building Boom At Toyota...”


  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    “Toyota will bring a factory in Mississippi on-stream in mid-2011”

    Puzzling that Toyota does not opt to build a factory in Michigan and get a big quality boost from employing an all UAW assembly line work force.

  • avatar
    mikey

    With all due respect to the two comments above. You would be shocked to know how little input the assembly line worker,UAW/CAW,or non union transplant assembler has to the final quality of the finished product.

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      It’s too much to expect some of the Internet’s less enlightened, and frankly more uniformed, forum & blog posters to ever give blue collar workers, union or nonunion, a fair shake. You’re 100% on point, mikey, in pointing out how little input any of the UAW/CAW employees have on the final quality of the car or truck.

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      So if the UAW is inconsequential to either end product quality or unit cost of production, how come most transplant factories are located in non-UAW regions?

      So the strong import brands are too dumb to know what a good thing they are missing despite seeing the domestic three partially hobbled by their decades long union-public-sector-private hybrid form of operation.

    • 0 avatar

      Just so I understand, mikey — because Lord knows I don’t wish to be uninformed or ignorant — you and your union ilk maintain assembly-line workers don’t influence quality all-that much?

      That’s the argument?

      OK… so a worker’s decision to not tighten bolts to the mandated spec (the suspected cause of one blown transmission in my folks’ S-Blazer) or to properly glue the rear window in on a C3500 dually (causing it to blow out at speed on the interstate) — those accidental failures by union workers to properly do their jobs (or deliberate… because let’s face it, we’re talking about unions) didn’t affect quality?

      Well gee, I stand corrected! And all this time I thought those quality failures were due to worker incompetence, or ill-will.

      So, what… you think malevolent pixies caused those problems? Or did evil managers walk onto the line when those ever-vigilant union workers weren’t looking?

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ fleetofWheel…Of course the transplants want to get as far away from union plants and union culture. They got the CAW/UAW knocking on thier door,no sense making it any easier for them.

      I believe there is a Honda plant in Ohio. We got a Honda plant and two Toyota plants within a 100 miles of CAW country. Honda has a plant on strike in china. Kia and Huyandai have major labor problems in thier homeland. How about VW in Germany the union’s nearly run the plants.

      Management set the quality standards,and assembly line workers do what thier told,union and non union.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      How about the recent post in another section of this blog about the non union Ohio Honda workers who were disabling the time clock at their plant by pouring acid in it?

      If that happened in a union shop and was posted in this blog, negative comments about it would hijacked the post. Why the lack of negative attitude to a non union sabotage action? Or do you think that ONLY union shops do that kind of crap? I’ve worked in both, and neither one is better than the other. Goldbricks are everywhere.

      As for the southern states getting assembly plants, the non-union factor is just one facet of their decision. In an attempt to gain the assembly plants, states and localities in the South literally give away the land, infrastructure and property taxes. I know it happened with the MB plant in Alabama, I’m sure the others have gotten those deals, too.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      “Goldbricks are everywhere.”

      The difference is that the UAW/CAW will protect the goldbricks. Been there, seen it.

      People get fired at the transplants. Been there, seen it.

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      geozinger – what you posted about the Southern states giving away land, infrastructure and property taxes breaks is dead-on accurate. Alabama offered approximately $250 to $300 million in incentives in original incentives in 1993 and another $100 million announced last year, prompting Daimler to announce last December 2009 that they would move the C Class production to Vance in 2014. (http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-2065)

      Hyundai received $252.8 million in incentives (Hyundai with $252.8 million incentives package). (http://www.umich.edu/~econdev/alabama_auto/index.html)

      Toyota’s San Antonio plant received $133 million in incentives. (http://www.siteselection.com/ssinsider/bbdeal/bd030210.htm)

      I’ll also back up what you say that neither union nor nonunion manufacturing plants have any superiority over the other. As an industrial sales rep I’ve called on both, and both are full of flaws.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @1996: I was in a different union back in the day, Teamsters, not UAW. Even with the brotherhood, if you f**ked up too many times, they no longer would cover for you.

      Alternately, I’ve worked in places (in different kind of work) where if the slacker kissed enough @ss, they could get away with anything.

      Again, been there, seen it. Didn’t want the T shirt.

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      geozinger – what you posted about the Southern states giving away land, infrastructure and property taxes breaks is dead-on accurate. Alabama offered approximately $250 to $300 million in incentives in original incentives in 1993 and another $100 million announced last year, prompting Daimler to announce last December 2009 that they would move the C Class production to Vance in 2014.

      Hyundai received $252.8 million in incentives (Hyundai with $252.8 million incentives package).

      Toyota’s San Antonio plant received $133 million in incentives.

      I’ll also back up what you say that neither union nor nonunion manufacturing plants have any superiority over the other. As an industrial sales rep I’ve called on both, and both are full of flaws. Despite what others post, UAW won’t protect goldbricks indefinitely. Been there, seen it first hand.

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      Rob Finfrock, just so you understand, I’ve spent twenty-five years as a vendor to the auto makers, including assembly line tooling, so please, be offended when I tell you that you haven’t a clue who is to blame on those two issues, and it’s about time you were told as much.

      “OK… so a worker’s decision to not tighten bolts to the mandated spec (the suspected cause of one blown transmission in my folks’ S-Blazer)”

      No, not the workers fault. Assemble line torque tools, to meet the repeatability standards for torque tools, are precalibrated and preset. The operator on the line has no input, other than to activate the tool. How do I know? I sold both the tools and the torque monitoring equipment use to calibrate and preset the tool. And the tool calibration and torque setting is outsourced to a nonunion third party, same way the Japanese transplant do. FAIL on your comments blaming the assembly line employee. Outsourcing and overseeing the outside contractors are all the purview of nonunion salaried supervisors.

      “a worker’s decision to not … properly glue the rear window in on a C3500 dually (causing it to blow out at speed on the interstate) — those accidental failures by union workers to properly do their jobs (or deliberate… because let’s face it, we’re talking about unions)”

      FAIL again. Again, the assembly line employee uses the tool – how much adhesive is dispensed, how the tool kits into the work piece, where the adhesive is supposed to go – all are not determined by the assembly line employee, but are the end result of salaried, nonunion supervisors responsibilities. Again, I’ve sold both the tooling and the adhesive, to Detroit and non-Detroit auto makers, so I have a little first hand knowledge of who is responsible, and who isn’t. If the tool isn’t properly calibrated, it’s the failure of a supervisor or an outside contractor or both.

      Try actually knowing about how manufacturing plants work next time.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Thanks Len-A, Reading your comments its quite evident,that unlike many others here,you do indeed, know what your talking about.

      36 plus years on the factory floor and I have on rare occasions seen deliberate shoddy workmanship. I’ve also seen people fired,never to return to the plant.

      On more than one occasion I have witnessed, “peer preasure” applied, more than verbally, to those that were not perfoming thier assingnment correctly.

      This is all just a waste of my limited typing skils, on the “experts” that have never seen the inside of a vehicle assembly plant.

      Thanks again Len A

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      mikey, you’re welcome. I’m a bit of a pariah among my peers, because I won’t badmouth blue collar workers who are doing a job that I know I wasn’t cut out for, physically or mentally. I don’t care. So I don’t get a promotion – don’t want one anyway. Just keep on selling to my industrial customers. Factories are home-away-from-home to me. White collar or blue collar, we all work for a living, opinions otherwise notwithstanding.

      The “experts” who have never seen the inside of an assembly plant are incorrectly convinced that having a degree (I have one. My wife has two. Big deal.)”entitles” them to lord it over factory workers. I pointed to that the only thing a degree “entitles” you to do is hang it on a wall. People aren’t always paid according to their education, just ask any public school teacher. People are often paid according to the physical difficulty of their job, or how difficult it is to find people suitable for that line of work. Maybe one day I’ll try to inform the “experts” what the phrase “Not suitable for industrial employment” means and what circumstances that use that phrase are.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah… whatever. Sorry Len and mikey. I’m sure you’re both decent guys, but you’re just repeating the same ‘ol UAW claptrap:

      “It’s not OUR fault, it’s management! Er, I mean the machines! Er, I mean… eh, screw this, I’ll just go kill time at the Jobs Bank.”

      So Len, under your premise that workers have no influence on quality, it’s all the machines… are the other three clowns in this pic just observers? http://tinyurl.com/UAWfinest

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      Rob Finfrock – as as independent outside observer, I hardly repeat claptrap.

      Secondly, any picture can be taken out of context, and Toyota, Honda, Nissan et al have plenty of similar pictures. The gal in the safety vest is a Quality Control inspector, and that’s not her only work station. She’s up & down the line double checking various items. The guy in the white shirt is an outside vendor – clipped to his right pocket on his blue jeans is a visitor pass – that’s where I clip mine. And yes, outside vendors frequently show up in auto and other manufacturing plants in jeans. I stopped wearing suits in 1994, stopped the dress shirt & tie routine in ’96/’97 and dumped the Dockers slacks, for 90% of my calls, in 2000. I won’t wear a suit or a shirt & tie for any meeting, not even with V.P.’s. If they don’t like my attire, they can go do business with someone else.

      And if the guy in the white shirt is a vendor rep, the guy with the gray T-shirt & dark blue jeans most likely is a supervisor or a plant engineer.

      So much for four UAW represented employees. Like all bashers, you can’t wait to take something out of context.

      Have a nice day.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      While I respect many UAW workers I have known, there are issues with unionized auto plants that make them uncompetitive.

      Specifically, the transplants have fewer work rules and better compensation practices – you get a bigger bump for gaining skills. (Yes – at transplants those with fewer skills get less pay).

      And while tax breaks the southern states are fair game for criticism, government help is hardly uncommon for UAW plants. Worker ‘training’ grants are common. And then there was the jobs bank – which no one in this thread actually has the stones to defend.

      Also state unemployment compensation is a huge hidden subsidy. For laid off UAW workers – many of whom are senior workers because their seniority entitles them to bid for a layoff – you can choose to be unemployed and the state and union will then collude to keep your paycheck whole… Freakin’ insane.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    Interesting photo. That is a Komatsu tractor to the right and looks like to the left also. The plant will have have Hitachi machinery, Asahi robots … etc.

    Do Ya’ll get it now??

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      No they don’t get it. They think it’s great that the thousand or so workers at that MS plant will take their paychecks to Wal-Mart to go buy stuff made in China.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I wonder how many cars Toyota thinks they can sell in North America with these plants? There is already a massive overcapacity issue here to start, how can this possibly help? And, why the US and not Mexico?

    The same goes for VW. That new mid-sized car better be a killer, otherwise I see shades of Westmoreland Township again.

    • 0 avatar
      Toyondai92

      Out of curiosity did you mean Westmoreland County?

    • 0 avatar
      silverkris

      Well, Toyota just closed down the former GM-Toyota joint venture New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) assembly plant in Fremont, CA, which produced Corollas and some light trucks. And they now are building up a plant in Mississippi to build Corollas? What a waste. But I guess those incentives given by MS were too attractive, as well as CA being a bit of a high cost state.

      Of course, when GM walked away from NUMMI due to its financial crisis a year and a half ago, Toyota felt no obligation to continue keeping it going – NUMMI became an orphan. Perhaps its California location may have weighed against it as well (distance from major parts suppliers, and there are no other vehicle assembly plants left in CA). However, the cars coming out of NUMMI were as high quality as anywhere else – and the workers took a lot of pride in their work, including the very last car produced, a red Corolla. Perhaps NUMMI was a victim of its own success as an experiment for GM and Toyota and the raison d’etre no longer was there after 1) GM learned some Japanese production practices and 2) Toyota learned how to produce in North America.

      NUMMI may have a new future a few years from now, it will be the site for the Tesla motors car assembly.

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