No More Made-In-Japan Toyota Vehicles in the United States?

Toyota Corolla Furia concept

Toyota Furia concept

“Made in Japan” is a stamp of honor worn by many Toyota vehicles in the United States. For decades, vehicles built in the Land of the Rising Sun were synonymous with quality and known for exceptional build quality. That’s still true today, but a future is in sight when all Toyota cars sold here in the U.S. will have also been built in North America.

What would that mean for the definition of a “domestic car”? Would Toyota’s reputation for quality remain as strong?

This is nowhere near a done deal, but considering the vast majority of Toyotas sold here are already built here, it’s a possibility that should be taken seriously.

Currently about 70 percent of Toyotas sold in the U.S. are built in North America. That includes the Avalon, CamryCorollaHighlanderTacoma, Tundra, Sienna and RAV4. Models built in Japan are the Yaris, FJ Cruiser and Land Cruiser. The easiest way to make all Toyota vehicles sold here American-made would be to simply the discontinue the ones that aren’t.

Really, would anyone miss the Yaris and FJ Cruiser? Didn’t think so. The Land Cruiser certainly has a loyal following, but maybe it could be the lone exception for import. The Prius, currently built in Japan, could have production shifted to the U.S. in 2015.

Whatever Toyota plans to do about production, there’s no question it is increasing its American work force and becoming as domestic a brand as Ford and Chevrolet. The Detroit Free Press said,

Toyota has also expanded design and engineering centers, such as the CALTY styling studio near Los Angeles and its technical center in Ann Arbor.

Last year, Toyota added or announced 3,500 new jobs and investment of $1.6 billion in North America.

With so much engineering, design, manufacturing and investment in the U.S., when does Toyota stop being a foreign brand?

-tgriffith

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    9 Comments

    1. Completely agree with others who is don’t want to by a Camry with Dodge quality. That is the only reason I’m not giving up my old Camry. Think about it, you you want people to spend money on new car – give them desired quality.

    2. I bought my last available new 2016 Suzuki Jimny in Australia
      It’s made in japan. I crawl underneath the car in the showroom ( the saleman thinks I have mental problems) to confirm it sticker in differnet parts with built date and made in japan signs
      I am happy with this little capable Suzuki Jimny 4×4, it will run forever

    3. My 2007 Camry XLE is made in Japan it is far better car than my mother’s which is brand new purses junk it wobbles and makes noise and she’s only got 50 2000 miles mine has 137000 miles on it and it rides like new if I wanted junk, I would have bought a Dodge

    4. My 1997 Camry was made in Japan and has 215000 miles and original front struts,alternator, as well as muffler. Still drives better than most new American made junk.

    5. Since Toyota started making most models here in the US the quality has definitely gone down. They have cheaper out on carpet,fit and finish and many other parts. The best Toyota are still made in Japan.8

    6. If I’m paying for a japanese made car I want one actually made by the japanese. If I want junk ill buy dodge.

    7. The Toyota 4runner is still built in Japan, this wasn’t mentioned in your article. Thanks.

    8. No, Toyota is saying, if you want made-in-Japan quality, spend at least 20k more and buy a Lexus.

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