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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25 Comments

  1. Carollas are still made in Japan and are available for the 2020 model year. Just like it did with the 2018 Camry Toyota will likely stop the imports very soon. After that only American or Canadian Carollas will be available. Going to buy a 2020 SE made in Japan next week. If this is the car for you buy while rebate is available.

  2. My fist car was a 1987 toyota corolla FX.. toyota is my brand….I now own a 2017 toyota corolla and a 1990 Corolla which has 252, 000 miles….looks still great and get many “notes” on windshield if Ill sell it….Nope…..Keep on goin Toyota! ?

  3. I’d hate to be the one to buy an American made Toyota the day after the Super Bowl or any well celebrated US holiday or event.
    There will be too many hungover workers on the assembly lines doing poor quality work.
    That **** doesn’t happen in Japan.

  4. I am thankful that theToyota 4Runner is still built in Japan. The Toyota Tacoma started experiencing issues
    in 2016 and that is right around the time that the US and Mexico had the production of these vehicles increased by Toyota.Japan just doesn’t have the Real Estate to keep building the vehicles there.
    My next vehicle will be a Toyota 4Runner and if not in time to buy a new one from Japan, I will definitely go used.
    There is a lot of crap sold here presently……Nice crap……and Expensive Crap…..but still crap!

    • The FJ Cruiser is accually a very missed vehicle. Many people want Toyota to bring it back. It was the only out of the factory vehicle sold in the US that could complete Jeep’s Rubicon Trail without modifications. The 4runner can not even do that, even to this date.

  5. If you only accept quality
    The builders will deliver
    But we the consumer keep thinking we can have something for nothing – only buy proven high quality vehicles – letbthecrest of the crap set on the lot till it’s discounted Down through the basement – then if you must – buy it use it and remember The deal when it doesnt last !

  6. I have a 2011 RAV4 v6 and it was made in Japan….serial number is a “J” it’s a sports car and is so damn quick some of my passengers freak a little as I merge or pass vehicles that present a bit of a challenge to some…..zoom and were gone…..it’s black, is cool looking except I hate the interior which is grey ****** color….but Wexford Toyota didn’t get mine that I requested with leather…..but I took it anyway…..still has the original Japanese battery all the installed mechanicals like AC…alternator….shocks…..everything….it’s tight and the ride is very firm. It came with all synthetics and is maintained that way today.

  7. Can the grille design get any less homely, and impractical/vulnerable, from a durability standpoint?

  8. Does anyone know where the Toyota CHR was made? What I’m reading I hope in Japan as it seems it’s a better built car if made there.

  9. The current Toyota Yaris is made in France and has been since around 2013-2014. The Scion/Toyota iM (Corolla hatchback) is still made in Japan, but likely won’t be with the next-gen (2019?).

    • In Australia Corolla Hatchback,the latest Camry and RAV4 as well as the 4×4 range (except Fortuner and Hilux ) are made in Japan. The Corolla Sedan is made in Thailand with the two mentioned above

  10. Toyotas of recent manufacture made in Japan: All Scion, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Prius, Yaris, Lexus.

  11. I agree with Sam. My 1997 Camry has 215,000 with original front struts,alternator and muffler. Its a beast. My 2012 hybrid made in Tennesee on the other hand has had the front bumper come loose within weeks, air conditioning smells like old gym socks, and now at 37,000 is burning oil. If i wanted junk i would buy a Ford. When they started making them in the USA the quality went away.

    • How do you know that the finger should be pointed at Ford for the havoc of downgrading the quality of Toyota products when Ford is suffering from the same quality degradation problems from lending responsibility of the production of their Ranger to the easterners (who also have that level of prestige that is used to tarnish the good reputation of Ford as it is only an ambassador)? The only vehicle manufacturing company I know that has no vehicles that are only made in foreign countries (and let alone are dwindling in quality worth) in the present is Dodge.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

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

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

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