Toyota Taking Half of Lafayette
Toyota moved ahead Monday with the
latest step in its bold expansion plans by announcing plans to build the Toyota
Camry at the underutilized plant in Lafayette,
Ind., that belongs to Toyota's new partner
Fuji Heavy Industries.
Word that Toyota was thinking about building Camrys in the Subaru
plant began circulating soon after the Japanese auto giant snapped up an
8.7-percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries after General Motors Corp. sold off
its 20-percent share in Fuji.
Indiana governor Mitch Daniels said the
project would create about 1000 jobs at the Lafayette plant by the time production begins
in the spring of 2007. Toyota plans to spend
about $230 million at the plant to install Camry tooling capable of building
about 100,000 vehicles annually under an agreement signed by Fuji and Toyota.
"We are pleased to further boost
localization by moving Camry production in Japan to the United
States. It's a win-win situation for
Toyota and SIA,
and for our suppliers whose businesses will grow," said Gary Convis, president
of TMMK. "This will be the same high quality and reliability that have made
Camry the best-selling U.S. car. We have the highest
confidence in SIA to help us continue to meet our customers' expectations," he
Finished in 1990, the Subaru plant
has not been fully utilized since Subaru's first partner in the venture, Isuzu,
backed out of the venture. The plant currently builds the Subaru B9
Tribeca, Outback, Legacy, and Baja. SIA produced about 120,000 Subarus in
2005. The Subaru B9 Tribeca will move to the production line where the
Outback, Legacy, and Baja are currently built to make room for the Camry, SIA
The new Camry production in
Indiana will replace imported Camrys from
Japan; Toyota will be able to build more Priuses in
Japan as a result. With this
additional capacity and other expansions underway, Toyota will have an annual production capacity in
North America of about two million cars and
trucks by 2008.
A new report from CSM Forecasting
of Novi, Mich., said Asian carmakers are continuing to expand in the
U.S. while GM and Ford are
cutting back. The shift in the production base will continue as the big American
brands continue to cut production. "This trend will continue over the next few
years as we see a realignment of capacity between the traditional Big Three, GM
and Ford in particular, and foreign automakers looking to localize output based
on strong sales and as a currency hedge," the report said. Toyota produces ten vehicles in North America. -Joe
Daily Edition: Mar. 13, 2006 by TCC Team
Kia picks Georgia for plant, Toyota building with Subaru.
DC Adds Second Shift in Illinois
DaimlerChrysler announced on
Monday that it was launching a second production shift at its assembly plant in
Belvidere, Ill., starting this week. Production of
the 2007 Dodge Caliber began in January 2006, while production of the new 2007
Jeep Compass at the plant will begin in May. The Belvidere plant is the first in the Chrysler
Group's system to launch a new flexible manufacturing process that can build
derivative models on a single production line in groups as small as one. The
second shift will double the plant's current production capacity. -Joe Szczesny
Zetsche Focuses on Bribery Scandal
by Joseph Szczesny
New CEO sets the Schrempp era
Great Drives: Skip Barber Racing
Skip Barber Racing School
So you know how do drive, huh? I mean really
You've done a few track days and you feel pretty good out there. Perhaps you've
even taken a few driving courses and maybe you're wondering how much else there
is to learn.
that's the case you sound a lot like me, chock full of misplaced bravado (not to
mention a little quiet skepticism) prior to taking Skip Barber's new
High Performance Driving School at Laguna Seca Raceway in California. I had heard a
lot about Skip Barber's driving schools and most of the people who had taken the
course raved about it. Still, I couldn't help but wonder: How good can it really
I stand before you (actually I'm sitting but that doesn't sound as theatrical) a
new man, not because I'm now some driving god but because my eyes have been
opened to just how much there is left to learn. I now have a greater
appreciation of how a car behaves at the limit, which not only imbues me with
new confidence on the track but, more significantly, I look at street driving in
a different light as well.
do you want know what the weird bit is? All this happened in the Laguna Seca
parking lot long before we ever hit the track. Sure, driving the Corkscrew for
the first time was fun, but that was really just the icing on a very rich,
Great Drives: Skip Barber Racing
Turn by turn, an education worth squealing
Drives: Terrific Tunisia
1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo f
On my first trip to Tunisia
explorative ten-day affair, I was as wide-eyed as a child, with an almost
unending sense of exotic fascination. Even before my initial arrival, during the
final descent of my Tunisair flight first over the azure of the Mediterranean
and then over the low-slung whitewashed buildings of Carthage, I recall being
struck by the vivid cornflower blues - of both the water and of the structures'
doors and window shutters.
my second trip, where I crisscrossed virtually the entire country in a whirlwind
that I shan't forget, rows of squat century-old olive trees, fine sugar-cane
beaches, and the still vastness of the Sahara
stuck out in my mind - to say nothing of the smiles on the face of many of the
locals I met throughout my fortnight-long journey.
third sojourn was a lesson in Roman and Punic history juxtaposed with the bustle
of Tunis' busy
European-inspired core. But prior to that particular arrival, as my Air France
A321 made its final approach this time over land as opposed to the usual sea
approach, I remember keenly gazing out of the window and at the automotive
traffic, which in a word, was chaotic. Mind you, it wasn't Cairo, but nonetheless, it
Great Drives: Terrific Tunisia
Outside the tourist beaches, a Roman ruin
Party: Sponsored by Caddy, Inspired by MJ?
If you're Shaquille O'Neal
, your 34th birthday party doesn't have to end
up at Dave and Buster's with a run-out game card and only enough tickets to get
a couple of erasers and a WWJD bracelet. No, when you're Shaq, you can ask GM to
underwrite the whole affair - and don't forget the six-month-old baby tiger,
thanks very much. The party - last Friday, if you didn't get your invite until
today - also featured the new 2007
, lest you think it was being held
strictly because GM CEO Rick Wagoner admires Shaq's free-throw skills or that
Shaq regularly hangs with regional marketing managers.
Ala. Lawman Takes Tires Into His Own
Alabama's government has its share of
characters. When they're not putting ten tons of Ten Commandments in
courthouses, they're stealing each other's parking spaces. The AP reports that
State Rep. Albert Hall is sick and tired of someone taking his reserved spot at
the state Capitol, and he's fighting back the only way he knows how - not
through the courts, but by deflating the culprit's tires. Complaining that his
car gets blocked nearly every day the legislature is in session, Hall also
called tow trucks to remove cars from his spot. Hall himself was deflated a bit
when he found out the car tire he bled down belonged to the wife of fellow Rep.
Allen Layson. The whole troublesome situation has been turned over to an
internal-affairs committee for further study.
Read the AP wire story
FROM THE SOURCE headlines from the
latest press releases
occupants have a 17-percent greater chance of being killed if they are in a
crash in a state with a secondary enforcement seatbelt law than in a state with a stronger primary
enforcement law according to a new study of crash fatality data from 2000-04 by
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The study found that
the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in states not
having primary enforcement laws was 1.21, compared to 1.03 in states with
primary enforcement, or 17 percent higher. The fatality rate per 100,000
population was 23 percent higher in states not having primary enforcement laws.
Fatality rates were higher for all age groups in the states not having primary
enforcement seatbelt laws.
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