Toyota: The new 'made in America'

Already about 70% of the cars the company sells in North America are made in the region. Now it wants to increase production.

By Kim Peterson Aug 9, 2012 6:42PM
Which automaker do you turn to for a car made in America? The answer to that is increasingly Toyota (TM).

The Toyota Camry has been the No. 1 American-made car for four years straight, according to an annual survey from Cars.com. In fact, Toyota and Honda (HMC) have four out of the top five vehicles on that index. Ford's (F) F-150 is in second place.

Toyota is looking to increase its North American production as a hedge against the strong yen, the Associated Press reports. Already, about 70% of the vehicles Toyota sells in North America are made in the region. In the last year, Toyota said it would hire 3,500 workers in North America and pour $1.6 billion into its factories.

A strong yen hurts overseas earnings for Toyota. The solution? "The hedge against currency is to build cars where you sell them," Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales USA, told the AP. Honda is also very strong in North America, building 85% of the vehicles it sells there.

Toyota is so impatient to boost North American production that it's nagging some suppliers to keep up with demand. The company says there are "less than 20" suppliers that can't produce enough to keep up with its needs, according to Automotive News. The company's North American purchasing chief, Robert Young, didn't name those suppliers, but he said they're running production lines six or seven days a week.

"They are struggling, and it’s not sustainable," Young told Automotive News. "We are asking them if they are maintaining proper maintenance schedules, because they are running so tight."

Toyota wants to make 1.8 million vehicles in North America this year, which would be a record, Automotive News reports. It hopes to beat that record in 2013 and 2014.

It's often more profitable for a company to have parts made overseas. Ford was once strongly American made; the automaker had 20 models with at least 75% domestic parts content five years ago, reports Cars.com. But for the 2012 model year, it only has three. "Yet the same strategy has helped to bring Ford into the black with 11 straight quarterly profits," writes Kelsey Mays of Cars.com.

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63Comments
Aug 10, 2012 1:33AM
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The only complaint I see is that "profits are going to Japan" and this is bad for the USA.

Remember that Toyota is a publicly traded company on the Japanese stock exchanges, the NY Stock Exchange and in London. Those profits go all over the world, including the USA. You might own Toyota stock through some international mutual fund and not even know it.

If Toyota makes better cars than the US automakers, they deserve to succeed. Instead of hating on foreign competition, maybe we should ask the US automakers why they suck so bad?
Aug 10, 2012 9:19AM
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Hey MSN...Why not do some real research. Given this presentation the uninformed may think that buying an import is better for the US economy than a domestic. The fact is that the assembly of an automobile is 15% or less of the jobs required to put that car in the showroom. The domestics employ more of us even when they assemble the car in Mexico or Canada. Why? The real question is where are all these functions performed; engineering, styling, product planning, powertrain validation, testing, accounting, marketing, support, legal, purchasing, etc,... We loose out when ever someone decides to buy an automobile assembled by the visitors. It pi$$es me off that you present this and all the import drivers feel this validates their actions. And yes those profits go overseas where they are taxed to benifit a foreign population.
Aug 10, 2012 9:44AM
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Made in America?  How about assembled in America.  After the big floods in Japan last

year, Toyota and Honda almost shut down because of lack of parts from Japan.  Look

where the engines and drivetrain are produced. While it is true they hire American workers

to assemble their auto,s  the profits go back to Japan.

Aug 10, 2012 8:53AM
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The profits of Japanese cars made in America still go back to the parent company in Japan where it is used for further research to assist in defeating their big three competition. The Big Three models are, in fact, just as good from every perspective as their asian and eurpean rivals. I still feel strongly that real Americans buy American Brands.
Aug 9, 2012 11:55PM
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Made in America with non-union workers - the Marxist-in-Chief can't stand it.
Aug 10, 2012 2:17AM
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According to an abc website, which I'm not allowed to post:

 

The Ford Fusion has 20% American content while the Toyota Camry has 80%.

Aug 9, 2012 8:04PM
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A japanese car made in america!  Is this america anymore?!

I will stick with my 1973 dodge charger!

Aug 9, 2012 9:44PM
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Big deal.!  Toyota's are cheap,bland and overrated high maintenance vehicles.I know first hand working in a toyota service department.  Toyota is still living off the reputation from years ago.  Service Customers not very happy these days. About 65% of my customers are switching brands.
Aug 9, 2012 9:06PM
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My last 6 vehicles have been Toyotas. I laugh every time I see the new Chevy commercial saying you can give it back within 60 days. Who's had major problem with any vehicle within the the first 2 payments??? Until an AMERICAN car company offers to stand behind their vehicle for the entire time I'm paying for it ( 5 years) I'll stick to buying Toyota. Why? I haven't needed that guarantee with any of my vehicles for over 20 years now. The big 3 need to stand behind their product or risk losing it all. No gimmicks, no toasters, just an iron clad contract with their customer that they will stand behind their product. A small price to pay for years of crap the Big 3 sold to the American public.

Aug 10, 2012 12:15AM
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Reading this article, one would think that it is a fine time to be an American.  Wow, 3500 additional jobs in North America. Problem is, it's NOT AMERICAN MADE, there just using American Employees. Let me ask all you self rightous, got to be better than the jones' foreign car buyers out there this question:  The money upon a US consumers purchase ends up going back to where????. China, Japan, Korea, Germany, --- WHATEVER--- Overseas to the corporate big shots there, not into the American pockets. It makes THEIR countries better off, NOT OURS. So go ahead and buy your foreign made car brand, then turn around and bitch some more about our economy.  Even this article indicates that Ford had 7 domestic suppliers, and is now down to 3. Where do you think those jobs went to?? More important, WHY?

 

All of you foreign car buying fools out there Need an example of the hypocricy and stupidity buying foreign::::::: try this on for size:   FOR KICKS AND GRINS---Try going to a local Auto parts store in your neighborhood and ask for American made Rotors and Brake pads. Make sure you ask the salesman for American made--- see if you have any luck with that. YOU WONT. Even for American made cars YOU WONT. So do some more bitching about American Employee Unemployment, and then ask whos fault is it?

 

It's time to turn the tables and start buying American only products. Time to start DEMANDING AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS, putting,  OUR COUNTRY ON TOP OF THE LEADER BOARD AGAIN. WAKE UP. Also, CEO'S need and should be given this Demand---either take a more in line salary compared to the worker, or your out. The money SHOULD BE going to the Employees, you know, the people that make it all possible in the first place, while your polishing the leather seat in your office with your azz. 

Aug 10, 2012 10:52AM
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Its true Toyota is made in America, but the parts for the auto comes from Japan.  And also

the idea for the company also came from Japan.  The legends that were truly born and

bread in America are Ford, Chevy and Dodge.  Those are the legends we need to stay

true to.

Aug 9, 2012 10:30PM
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Toyotas are still good vehicles, in spite of recent problems. Living in the southeast, I won't own one due to the incredible markup imposed by Southeast Toyota Distributors. These people control the distribution of Toyotas in the entire southeastern region and impose this markup on the dealers. It is not negotiable at the dealers' lots, so you end up paying approximately $500 to $1000 more than you should, all for some bogus processing done by SET. I would have to go from Florida to Tennessee to avoid this.

 

It's hard to beat the 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty offered by Hyundai. Their cars are high quality, and have been for several years now, after a rather dismal early showing. It's unfortunate that they no longer offer a V6 in the Sonata, but some people say that the 4-cylinder turbo is a good choice. Unfortunately, the Sonata is only 41% US content, according to a site I checked.

Aug 10, 2012 12:43AM
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And all the profits go to Japan... please, wake up.

Aug 11, 2012 4:42PM
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Of course the product is amazing, it is built with more AMERICAN parts, by AMERICAN labor that is non-Union.  Everyone knows the UAW turns out junk, with Government Motors being the worst.

 

Do yourself a favor, and buy American, and skip the junk made by overpriced UAW scum.

 

If you see a Union (Marxist) label.  Put it down, don't buy it.  And don't shop anywhere where they have union help.  Go elsewhere.  Don't support the Marxists and Democrats

Aug 9, 2012 8:36PM
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The Cars.com survey that ranks the Camry as #1 takes sales into consideration not the actual % of parts from the USA.  If you actually look at the percentage of parts from the USA used in the vehicles GM and Ford DOMINATE the top 10 spots.  The Camry isnt even in the top 15 of % of parts from the USA.  Not a single Scion is built in the USA and only 1 Lexus is assembled in North America and thats in Canada.  The Matrix is in Canada, the Yaris isnt even in north america.  If Toyota doesnt put it together in North America it contains NO PARTS from North America.  If a GM vehicle is assembled outside NA it still has NA parts. 
Aug 9, 2012 9:25PM
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Beatle, the Camry has been made in America since 1989.
Aug 10, 2012 12:24PM
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I can proudly say I sell Toyotas in Georgia & that our product is amazing. Some people just have a misconception about the "Japanese" vehicle. However,most of those consumers are just too narrow-minded or simply do not know that almost every Toyota model has more parts made in the US than in Japan. Over 80% of all Toyotas purchased in the last 20 years are still on the road today,which should obviously be a testament to the quality & longevity of our product. We make a fantastic product! Our vehicles do & have things that our competitiors do not. We are far ahead in terms of safety features,technology( in terms of the way the cars are made) & for in-car entertainment (we have a program available called entune that is easier to operate & understand than onstar,sync,myford touch,etc). The idea that only ford,chevy,and dodge make quality vehicles is so outdated.
Jan 17, 2013 4:25AM
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Americans stroll through life with our eyes half open....Germans by German-made cars, Asians by Asian-made cars...their economies enjoy this fact. As Americans we have inherent freedoms (of choice, speech, religion etc.) but our ignorance and inability to look at issues in micro and macro apertures is saddening, and will continue to leave us confused and befuddled as to the ultimate ramifications of our actions. I've had a few foreign cars but 90% of my auto purchases have been Autos made by American car companies (Ford, Chevy and Dodge [before it was sold off to the Italians]). Wake up America!
Oct 18, 2013 4:14PM
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Heres The Problem With All Of This ! You Have American Wantabee's  That Think Toyota  Is Made In America And There Blnidsided By This Deception That Why They Buy Toyota, Honda Etc: And That's What They Believe That. What They Don't Know Is That Their In A Second Class Category And Don't Even Know It !  On The Other Hand You Have The True Americans That Know The Truth About This Statement, Its Knowing That Your True To The American  Spirit  You Buy Made In USA Products .Period.  Its The Right Thing To Do As An American!  Your Parents Did It And There Parents Did It. Its The American Way Of Life. The Younger Generation Today 18-45 Years Have Lost The Vision, Their Mislead To This Fact!  So True Americans Know The Secret And The Wantabee's Don't !   Once You Get On The Right Path To Being A True American The Spirit Inside You It Becomes Much Stronger. Its A Sense Of Pride, Dignity. That The Wantabee's Just Don't! Have. They Will Never Get The Concept!!!!! It Is A Sad Thing To See, They Just Don't Get It!
Jan 12, 2013 12:16PM
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If all of you Toyota supporters think you're doing us Americans a favor, think again! Would you feel the same if you worked for ford instead of Toyota?? Bottom line: it's not American and never was or will be! If you want a Toyota or Honda just buy one and quit telling us Americans that you're supporting us. 
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