Many of the bestselling U.S. Toyota cars developed in Japan and North America will be manufactured in North America exclusively in the near future, the automaker's top U.S. executive said. Manufacturing Corollas and Camrys, among other volume products, in facilities worldwide has provided the automaker the flexibility to allot cars to the local market.
Almost all automobiles are built where they are marketed, while facilities in Japan can export additional units when necessary. Toyota dubs it "bridge manufacturing." However, any automobile sold in huge volumes in the U.S. will later be constructed entirely in North America, President Shigeki Terashi at Toyota Motor North America stated.
This includes the Toyota Corolla, Camry, Highlander and RAV4 and the Lexus RX 350. Autos targeted particularly at North America, like the Toyota Tundra, Sienna and Venza, already are assembled entirely in regional factories.
Terashi explained that all the vehicle models which have been built under the bridge manufacturing plan are "in a trend" so that they will all now be assembled in the United States. He added that they are now even considering exporting these U.S.-made models.
The strong yen is among the considerations for the decision, as this makes a Japan-built Camry sold in the U.S. less profitable than one constructed in the U.S. However, Toyota will carry on with the production of low-volume cars in Japan and engage in North American manufacturing of autos on which it can accomplish economies of scale.
In 2011, among the Lexus and Toyota autos sold here that are constructed in both nations, around 13 percent were created in Japan. No deadline is set for the bridge manufacturing, as it depends on the vehicle model range.
The Camry available for sale here is already being manufactured solely in North America. In April, only 11 Japan-built Camrys were marketed in the U.S. As for the other vehicles, they will have longer adjustment duration. Last year, 64,264 Corollas were produced in Japan. This figure is around 27% of the vehicle's total U.S. sales volume.