Toyota Putting The Brakes On Further Capacity In America

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Toyota is not going to be expanding any plants in the United States, even as they are forced to absorb further production of the Toyota Camry as their assembly deal with Subaru winds down.

According to Just-Auto, Subaru’s Indiana facility built just under 100,000 Camrys in 2013, and the Georgetown, Kentucky plant that current builds the bulk of North American Camrys, is the busiest in the United States, turning out over 504,000 vehicles last year, with the Camry accounting for nearly 350,000 units.

With Avalon sales declining and the Venza reportedly being axed, there should be an additional 50-60,000 units of capacity. Even so, that leaves a shortfall, and Toyota is unlikely to increase imports of the Camry – which is built in Japan as well – increase beyond the handful it currently brings in.

The solution for Toyota will be to make better use of their current manufacturing footprint, through increased efficiencies. If Toyota wants to hang on to their “best-selling car” bragging rights, they’ll need to find some solution to the production deficit that appears to be looming.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Aug 09, 2014

    And when I see other brands broken down by the side of the road and I pass by in my decrepit looking Corolla, I pat myself for choosing such a dull, boring transportation device.

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    • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Aug 09, 2014

      @petezeiss I have to agree that while Toyota is known for their reputation for reliability, that reputation tends to come from cars that are 15-25 years old. It's just like the opposite of Chrysler, some people won't touch one now based on what they have heard or had experienced 15-20 years ago, specifically the 2.7 engine issue and various transmission problems in their lineup in the 1990s. That doesn't mean the cars Chrysler produces now still have these problems as those drivetrains are long gone. A 1990 Toyota Camry, and the related stories of these cars hitting 300,000 miles, is NOT in *any way* related to a 2014 Camry. For all we know, the 2014 Camry (or any given model from the past couple years, for that matter) could all have problems that cause them to grenade at, say, 80,000 miles. Maintenance and care have a lot to do with reliability. The probability of mechanical issues will fall greatly if things are done by the book, on time and every time. Some cars will hold up to abuse better than others, but if a person cannot take care of their vehicle, they probably shouldn't own one to begin with.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 09, 2014

    Boring and appliance like reliability and economy is not a bad thing. It is good to have a vehicle that you can rely on. I do agree that the Venza is overpriced for what it is. Toyota has a lot of hard cheap plastics in all their vehicles but they are good reliable vehicles. But then most of the other manufacturers are making better and more reliable vehicles so Toyota is not alone anymore. Toyota cannot rely on their reputation alone for very much longer.

    • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Aug 09, 2014

      I would love to see Toyota's internal studies of American demographics and their conclusions drawn from them. They have to know that they largely live and die here by having captured baby boomers and their older children. Most customers won in the 1970s and '80s by Japanese makers (like me for Honda) will likely go to the nursing home refusing to seriously consider any other brand unless it were one of their premium lines. The conversion experience in our youth from gas swilling/leaking, crudely cobbled domestic cars was that powerful. But obviously even though there is some generational hand-off of this loyalty it can't last forever. And intellectually I realize that the Koreans and some domestics have closed the reliability and refinement gap with their Japanese QA sensei. Maybe the long-viewed Japanese leadership is ready for some pull-back from the American market and an amped-up run at the Chinese whose own domestic efforts are predictably doomed by corruption and impatience.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 09, 2014

    The Japanese automakers are just as interested in the Chinese market as the US, but there is still a lot of hatred and mistrust between China and Japan. World War II and the Japanese Imperialism in China left a bitter hatred of the Japanese. The Chinese like and trust the US more than they trust Japan. There still needs to be more time for China to heal their relations with Japan.

    • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Aug 10, 2014

      "a bitter hatred of the Japanese" Well, that's the History Channel level of understanding the situation and is no doubt still a reality for millions of elderly Chinese. But if Tokyo became serious about bribing the right Central Committee members and making a few public gestures of remorse (PM to stay the hell out of Yasukuni for a while) in no time at all it would be: "Let a Billion Camrys Roll!" Especially so if those Toyotas were rebadged for Great Wall, Chery, Dongfeng...whomever. I mean, Japan Inc. needs to find another gargantuan middle class *somewhere* to sell to after ours disintegrates. And Beijing can simply order up any popular sentiment they want along with the mobs to enforce it.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 10, 2014

    @petezeiss--I don't disagree with you just that it will take Toyota time to infiltrate the Chinese market. Toyota is already in China as VW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, and some others. Toyota is just as eager as the other manufacturers to get a piece of the growing Chinese market. The growth is no longer in the US market and that is why Toyota is not expanding capacity in the US. Asia is where the potential for future growth is.