October, 2011

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Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Toyota used strategy to breath new life into idled robotics that now build the 2012 Camry with lower costs and a very competitive price structure.

Toyota Robots Building Camry

With false accusations, an erroneous government onslaught, earthquakes, tsunamis, and economic turmoil chipping away at sales and brand loyalty, Toyota knew when approaching a redesigned for the 2012 Camry that a priceincrease wasn’t an option. While Camry remains the best selling car in America, its lead has diminished  and competitors such as the Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion have seen double-digit sales increases over the last year. Pricing the Camry over its competition, and in the midst of a recession, could positionthe car to customer push-back before it even hit the market.

One of Toyota’s primary production goals for the new Camry was cost containment. Wherever possible, the automaker looked to boost production efficiencies, and one way was to reuse existing production assets from idled facilities.

Building the 2012 Camry in Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant are the same robots once used by NUMMI, the former Toyota-GM project facility in Fremont, Calif. The robots once welded up Toyota Matrix hatchbacks, but with fresh tooling and reprogramming, they’re now building the mid-size Camry sedan, cutting costs and keeping the pricing structure down.

Toyota won’t say how much it saved by repurposing the robots. Yet the new Camry is priced at an average of two percent less than the model it replaces. On higher-end models, the savings are even more significant.


Saturday, October 1st, 2011

The Toyota Engine Plant located in Huntsville, Alabama should have its own National Championship Honor along with The Auburn University and University of Alabama Football Programs.

Toyota Engine Team National Champions

The Factory has a team of 1000 employees who have worked, trained, overcome adversity , and fought to become the leading and only Toyota plant to produce 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines worldwide.

Beginning September 2011, the Huntsville factory production includes not only the V-6 and V-8 engines used in the Tundra and Tacoma trucks as well as the Sequoia SUV, but also the 4-cylinder engine used in the Rav4, Highlander, Venza, and the new 2012 Camry. The plant will supply nearly every auto factory in North America.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the plant’s beginning which now has an annual capacity to turn out 500,000 engines. The factory is running wide open.

It hasn’t always been that way. The Toyota Huntsville plant suffered greatly during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009 when gas also reached $4.00 per gallon. No sooner had the factory moved past adjustments made due to the downturn when Toyota faced a mass global recall and governmental onslaught that caused even more sales and production distress.

Then, this past spring, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan damaged Toyota’s supplier operations creating parts shortages in America.

The Huntsville. Alabama facility waas included in a companywide production cutback and just last spring was operating only a day and a half a week.

Through it all, Huntsville team employees maintained optimism. Instead of layoffs, the company concentrated on learning, crosstraining, maintaining a steady schedule on non-production days, and something more…Last spring Toyota sent employees out into the community as a “Dreamteam” to help victims of the April 27 tornadoes that severly damaged areas of Alabama.

When the Huntsville. Alabama plant competed for the 4-cylinder engine project, it went against facilities in Japan, China, and Australia. the Huntsville team was ready though, thanks to learning, training, consistency, and optimism.

The Toyota Engine Team in Huntsville, Alabama  demonstrates that they can produce high quality, low cost engines of high reliability, QDR, as Toyota calls it and that gives the State of Alabama another National Championship Team!