Toyota to join Nissan in MS?


    Toyota said to build plant in Mississippi – Feb. 27, 2007

    Looks like Toyota's rumored U.S. expansion continues.

    Toyota is under pressure to boost production in the region to avoid potential political fallout from a jump in the number of vehicles shipped from Japan to the United States. Last year, just half of the vehicles it sold in the United States were built in North America, compared with a rate of more than 70 percent for both Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

    At the current rate of sales growth in North America, some analysts say Toyota would need to add capacity at a rate of one factory every year.

    Thankfully, Toyota is expanding and adding jobs here in the U.S.

    Somewhat unrelated, but here's an article that gives pretty good detail about what's in a 52-second job cycle at the Toyota Georgetown (TMMK) plant.

    Many of the workers on the line will perform four different processes for two hours each during a typical eight-hour shift. Switching assignments every two hours helps workers battle monotony and expands the number of employees who understand a variety of tasks.

    “It's almost mind-boggling to see how a car goes together,” said Gary Scott, of Georgetown, a group leader who was overseeing the seat installation process one day not long ago. “That's what I like about these cars – these Camrys are tight,” said Scott, a 15-year employee who was referring to the paper-thin tolerances that Toyota works with in building a Camry.

    “When everything is going right, we build 536 quality vehicles (on his shift), nobody gets hurt and we all go home happy,” said Scott, who studied civil and mine engineering in college before making Toyota a career.

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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