Sunday, September 18, 2011

Toyota--an American Car Company

Everybody knows (I think) that Toyota is a huge Japanese company. However, what may be less obvious is how much impact they have on the U.S. economy--and how many people they employ here. According to a little brochure I got with my most recent Toyota vehicle loan, the company has created 365,000 jobs, invested $18 billion, built nearly 1 million vehicles and given away $539 million dollars for philanthropic reasons. Check out their history in the U.S.

There are 1,506 Toyota, Scion and Lexus dealers across the country selling and servicing cars, many of them made in the American midwest. The midsize leader, Camry, has streamed out of the Georgetown, Kentucky plant since 1988, and they've built the Hybrid model there for the last five years. Georgetown also builds the Avalon (since 1994) and Venza crossover (since 2008). It helps that those vehicles share a platform.

They build Tacoma and Tundra pickups in south central Texas, the Sequoia SUV, Highlander SUV and Sienna minivan in Indiana, and will start moving Corollas out of the new Mississippi plant this year (see photo).

Those numerous facilities have a big impact on their communties, both because they order large qualtities of parts and services from regional suppliers but also in providing customers for the businesses in those communities. The new plant in Mississippi will hire about 2,000 workers but will add more than that indirectly in purchases of parts such as suspension components, glass, bumpers, seats and door panels. Think of how many of those factory employees will be shopping the local Walmart, depositing money in local banks, and getting their hair cut at the mall.

Toyota has the Calty Design Center in Southern California that's had a lot of say in how the American Toyotas look and feel since it was established in 1973.

Fifteen states boast major Toyota business and there's still more spread out around the country.

It's pretty impressive.

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