How Toyota is Helping the American Economy
Years ago having a foreign automaker build a plant and employ American workers would be unheard of. Honda may have been the firs to do so when they started their manufacturing process here in the U.S., but they certainly are not the last to do so. Many American automakers have found ways to branch out and partner with European companies along with having their assembly and manufacturing in other countries. Even though this has caused a huge uproar among the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union, the simple reality is having manufacturing and assembly done much closer to where the vehicles are going to be sold makes perfect sense.
In addition to having these plants in places that are located much closer to where the cars will be sold, having a global reach allows manufacturers use the resources that are present in those areas to be able to build and create the parts needed to make the vehicles. Because the world has become a much smaller place, not only due to the internet, but also with the increased population of the globe, using the best locations for building automobiles or any other form of manufacturing only makes great business sense.
Once Honda had found their way to the U.S. Toyota was soon to follow and now has some plants all over the United States. This gives Toyota a bit of an advantage to utilize the resources and work of the American auto workers who have been employed for many years in the Midwestern part of the U. S. to help them build many of their vehicles. This allows the economy of the U.S. to grow and gives Toyota an even stronger foothold here in on American soil. Not only does Toyota gain an advantage in manufacturing, but they utilize local suppliers to ensure the supply chain is as short as possible.
In Princeton, Indiana, Toyota has an enormous plant that employs 4500 people at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc. (TMMI). Using the local suppliers of the area also employs more Hoosiers with the supply chain to the plant and has given the local economy a huge boost since the plant opened. This plant and its work has become a $4.1 billion investment for Toyota in the state and nearly 300,000 vehicles are manufactured at this plan t each year including the Sequoia, Highlander and Sienna.
As we are all familiar with, many manufacturers took a downturn in the latter half of the last decade, including Toyota, but the plant in Indiana has had zero layoffs even during that time. When the production lines are being retooled and reset, Toyota uses that time to reinvest in its team and focus on training and improved skills. Along with this, they often will spend this downtime helping the local community as well. As the manufacturing of automobiles has become a global market and global activity, Toyota has found a way to use some of the most skilled automotive workers in the world, the American Auto Workers, to manufacture their vehicles, a certain win/win for the folks of Princeton, Indiana.