Bill Fay, vice president and general manager of Toyota’s U.S. division, said that the automaker might manufacture in North America all the US bound vehicles.
Over the past years, Toyota and other automakers in Japan have been transferring production from Japan to other countries due to the strength of the yen. Last year more than 70% of Toyota’s vehicles sold in the US have been assembled in North American plants.
“Our intention is clearly to grow that 70% over time,” Fay said. “Short term, we are not going to build everything in North America, especially (when) you consider Lexus, which we are shifting more slowly. Certainly there’s a movement to do more of that work where the customer is.”
The new Avalon sedan has been engineered at Toyota’s Ann Arbor Technical Center and assembled in Georgetown, Kentucky, together with the Camry. Fay added that by the end of 2013 all Toyota Corollas to be sold in the US will be manufactured at the company’s Cambridge, Ontario, and Blue Springs, Miss., plants.
Currently Toyota has 9 plants in the US, which manufacture the Avalon, Camry, Tacoma, Venza, Highlander, Tundra, Corolla and Sienna vehicles. In 2012 the automaker announced it plans to invest $1.6 billion in North America and add 3,500 new jobs.