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Gerry Clinchy
04-09-2012, 11:19 AM
My son works for Toyota Corp. (a Field Technical Specialist) and we had some interesting conversation Sunday.

Toyota has more plants in the US than I realized. The biggest is in Kentucky; but they also have plants in WVA, MS, IN, TX and (I think) one or two other states. They are all right-to-work states, of course, since there is no union in any of their plants.

He didn't know how much the auto workers get paid, but one might guess that it's a decent wage, even if not as much as the union workers get?From time to time, the auto workers' unions will picket various Toyota dealerships because of the lack of union workers in their plants.

The KY plant is their largest in the US. It's max capacity is 2500 cars/day. It produces Camrys, Avalons and Venzas. At max capacity, that's a new car every 55 seconds! They operate 5 days a week, but rarely at max capacity since they must also service the machinery and do re-tooling for new model changes. Still probably produce somewhere between 250,000 to 400,000 cars from the KY plant ... alone!

What was VERY interesting is that, somehow it is cheaper to make these cars in KY than some other places. They export some of these cars to places like South Korea! Some of this, he said, is related to the monetary situation with Japan's yen. I can recall that, at one time, the cost of Japanese-mf'd cars was higher due to the value of yen v. dollar.

They do quality-conscious things like: he gets an annual bonus based on the product reports submitted by the technicians (mechanics) from the dealerships he services (right now that's the Philadelphia region that includes So Jersey). What the company is looking for are product reports that will alert them to items found during repairing a vehicle that can be turned into improvements in the product. And they do read those reports & watch the nature of the reports.

Interestingly ... the Toyotas are requiring so few major repairs that it becomes more difficult for the mechanics at dealerships to earn a living :-) My son was a mechanic for over 20 years & is now looking for a used car for his son ... and he's looking for a Toyota; ones that are 12 to 14 years old; cares that have over 100K miles on them :-) He believes in the products that much.

BonMallari
04-09-2012, 01:54 PM
if Toyota would just change the look/styling of the Tundra..IMHO the Tacoma is the best midsize truck..period..I also think the Sequoia is better than the suburban

the only bad thing about Toyota/Lexus is the price $$$$....they are well made vehichles

I used to drive a suburban, but now I drive a Nissan Pathfinder

Gerry Clinchy
04-09-2012, 02:44 PM
Bon, you reminded me about something I forgot to mention ... the Tundra is #1 in having the most US-made parts of ANY car of ANY brand sold in the US. So, if you are influenced by "buy American", that's the vehicle to buy :-)

Absolutely agree about the price ... but many of us keep saying we will pay for quality. Aside from gas, my 9-1/2 yr old Highlander cost me 5 cents/mile to run last year. Will cost more this year since son says it should get a new timing belt.

Son gets a new car every 25,000 miles ... he's now driving a new, totally loaded Highlander. I covet it :-) Price tag, though, is around $42K. Has GPS that is compatable with his smart phone. Back-up camera is really cool stuff. Beautiful car, rides like a limo.

Friend bought a used Sienna (for going to agility trials), and two years later, MANY miles later, they still love it.

BonMallari
04-09-2012, 02:56 PM
Bon, you reminded me about something I forgot to mention ... the Tundra is #1 in having the most US-made parts of ANY car of ANY brand sold in the US. So, if you are influenced by "buy American", that's the vehicle to buy :-)

Absolutely agree about the price ... but many of us keep saying we will pay for quality. Aside from gas, my 9-1/2 yr old Highlander cost me 5 cents/mile to run last year. Will cost more this year since son says it should get a new timing belt.

Son gets a new car every 25,000 miles ... he's now driving a new, totally loaded Highlander. I covet it :-) Price tag, though, is around $42K. Has GPS that is compatable with his smart phone. Back-up camera is really cool stuff. Beautiful car, rides like a limo.

Friend bought a used Sienna (for going to agility trials), and two years later, MANY miles later, they still love it.


the ONLY reason I didnt get a Highlander is because I couldn't afford one,same with a Tacoma...even a previously owned one is hard to come by, believe me I looked;)

luvmylabs23139
04-09-2012, 03:44 PM
Bon, you reminded me about something I forgot to mention ... the Tundra is #1 in having the most US-made parts of ANY car of ANY brand sold in the US. So, if you are influenced by "buy American", that's the vehicle to buy :-)

Absolutely agree about the price ... but many of us keep saying we will pay for quality. Aside from gas, my 9-1/2 yr old Highlander cost me 5 cents/mile to run last year. Will cost more this year since son says it should get a new timing belt.



My Camry will be 10 years old next month. Other than regular oil changes, air filters and tires the only repair it has ever needed was replacing my front brakes last summer. 10 years later I still love driving it and wouldn't think of trading it in.

Gerry Clinchy
04-09-2012, 06:15 PM
the ONLY reason I didnt get a Highlander is because I couldn't afford one,same with a Tacoma...even a previously owned one is hard to come by, believe me I looked;)

You're right ... used Highlanders are hard to come by. People just don't sell them.

I hate buying cars. When I got this Highlander new, I asked my son if it would last the rest of my natural life. He thought I was joking!