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At least Toyota is doing something with their new assets instead of just purchasing the shares as a paper investment. Good for both companies and Indiana too.




Toyota to Build Camrys at Subaru Plant in Indiana


Written by: News Wire
Tokyo, Japan – 3/13/2006

Toyota Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. agreed on Monday for Fuji Heavy to build Toyota's Camry car at Fuji's Subaru plant in Indiana and develop gasoline-electric vehicles using its partner's hybrid system, the Reuters news agency has reported.

Fuji Heavy will build 100,000 Camrys a year at its Lafayette, Ind., factory beginning in spring 2007 in a move that helps the maker of Subaru cars cut losses at its underused plant and gives Toyota cheap access to extra production capacity.

“I think this is a great first step in building a win-win relationship, with more cooperation to come,” Fuji Heavy President Kyoji Takenaka told a joint news conference in Tokyo.

The automakers had been exploring ways to cooperate in production and development since Toyota became Fuji Heavy's top shareholder in October after the latter dissolved its capital alliance with General Motors. Toyota, Japan's top automaker, now owns 8.7 percent of Fuji Heavy.

Fuji Heavy's decision to use Toyota's hybrid system would help it bring the cars to market sooner than it would have on its own. It would also help Toyota, the world leader in hybrid technology and sales, achieve its aim of establishing the powertrain as the main fuel-saving alternative to conventional cars.

“Toyota has the world's most advanced hybrid technology, and we decided that tying up in this field would be the most efficient and shortest route to offering hybrids,” Takenaka said.

The two companies also agreed that Fuji Heavy, a niche car maker best known for its symmetrical all-wheel-drive powertrain, would develop vehicles for Toyota in a project involving 100 Fuji engineers.

“The crafting of these agreements over such a short period of time (since October) is an indication that our two companies share many common views towards car-making,” Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said.

The latest agreement will boost Toyota's annual output capacity to around 2 million cars by 2008 in North America, where it is carving out a bigger share thanks to the popularity of its cars, most notably its growing line of hybrid vehicles.

Meanwhile, Subaru's sales have sputtered in the United States – Fuji Heavy's most important market – as sales of the premium B9 Tribeca SUV and remodeled Legacy have fallen short of expectations.

Fuji Heavy said its U.S. plant, Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), would spend about $230 million to make way for the Camry by combining production of the Legacy and B9 Tribeca into one line, and modifying the second line to introduce Toyota's production technology.

That would turn SIA into a 240,000-units-a-year factory and create about 1,000 new jobs at full production, they said. The plant has had excess capacity since the withdrawal of Fuji's former joint venture partner, Isuzu Motors Ltd.
 

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accordjtstyle said:
will this lower reliability of toyota vehicles?

No. Reliability is in design. It doesnt matter where you put it together. If you cut corners in the design of the vehicle or the production process, you will have problems. If you design everything well, you wont have problems.
 

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Just to add... I'm sure Toyota did their research on that plant before-hand... I dont think Toyota would give duties like that to a bunch of workers who don't perform to Toyota's standards. There are probably also incentives going into play as well.
I have confidence that Toyota knows what they're doing when they make decisions like that.
 

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maybe toyota will get the allwheel turbocharged virus and make something sporty that is worth owning (and get 60miles to the gallon) :lmao
 

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dil2502 said:
maybe toyota will get the allwheel turbocharged virus and make something sporty that is worth owning (and get 60miles to the gallon) :lmao
hahaha dat will be the day..
 

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hobie237 said:
No. Reliability is in design. It doesnt matter where you put it together. If you cut corners in the design of the vehicle or the production process, you will have problems. If you design everything well, you wont have problems.
reliability=design + assembly + parts + QC[management + employees] +people

you cant really say that reliability is dependent soley on design. its a summation of various objective.

though the location might not matter, but people job satisfaction and perception of work has a great deal of influence on their productivity level and quality control. certain regions has people that views work and satisfaction that is very positive and thus influence better productivity and quality control.

i think thats what people mean when they say japanese cars are better made than american made...etc.
 

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divinewisdom said:
reliability=design + assembly + parts + QC[management + employees] +people

you cant really say that reliability is dependent soley on design. its a summation of various objective.

though the location might not matter, but people job satisfaction and perception of work has a great deal of influence on their productivity level and quality control. certain regions has people that views work and satisfaction that is very positive and thus influence better productivity and quality control.

i think thats what people mean when they say japanese cars are better made than american made...etc.

90% of what makes a car reliable is decided before the car enters production. The manufacturer sets the specs for the tolerances of the parts, the specs for the materials which are to be used to produce them, etc. The manufacturer also decides what machine tools are to be used to produce the car and what precision they are capable of and the manufacturer sets the training procedures and production procedures for the vehicle.

The manufacturer should remove as many variables from production as possible. This is reliability by design. When it comes down to it on the line the most reliable cars are the ones that are built by workers who do the lowest skilled jobs that there is. Its hard to mess up putting a screw in, or simple tack welds. This is how you "design" a car to be reliable- it isnt just the design of the vehicle itself, but each of its constituient parts and the processes to put them together.
 

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I too would say design is the bigger factor or reliability.

Choosing between X material and Y material is part of the design process. In the end, torquing a bolt to 40ftlb is the same here and Antarctica. It's only a matter of someone screwing up the assembly process.

One thing I noticed between Japanese made Hondas and American made Hondas, is the difference in interior quality. For some reason, unless you go to the EX version, the accord has that cheap feeling interior with a lot of road noise. The panels are all hard plastic and may be prone to cracking in the long run.

AAANNYYWAAYSS....toyota is going to take over the world. lol.
 

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hobie237 said:
90% of what makes a car reliable is decided before the car enters production. The manufacturer sets the specs for the tolerances of the parts, the specs for the materials which are to be used to produce them, etc. The manufacturer also decides what machine tools are to be used to produce the car and what precision they are capable of and the manufacturer sets the training procedures and production procedures for the vehicle.

The manufacturer should remove as many variables from production as possible. This is reliability by design. When it comes down to it on the line the most reliable cars are the ones that are built by workers who do the lowest skilled jobs that there is. Its hard to mess up putting a screw in, or simple tack welds. This is how you "design" a car to be reliable- it isnt just the design of the vehicle itself, but each of its constituient parts and the processes to put them together.
they can try to eliminate variables, but theres no way to get ride of them all. the supply chain, people, and everything that goes in to a car too much to be perfect.

your right, everything in the assembly of the car starts from the bottom up.
if you have happy employees then their less likely to leave a screw loose or forget to tuck in a panels...etc. i think thats where toyota and honda has the advantage. their employees arent fighting the company. GM and Ford, its a struggle between the Union vs. Company. that just ruins it for them. if a someone cant get fired, laid off, or cut hours; then what motivation are there to really do your best job?
 

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divinewisdom said:
they can try to eliminate variables, but theres no way to get ride of them all. the supply chain, people, and everything that goes in to a car too much to be perfect.

your right, everything in the assembly of the car starts from the bottom up.
if you have happy employees then their less likely to leave a screw loose or forget to tuck in a panels...etc. i think thats where toyota and honda has the advantage. their employees arent fighting the company. GM and Ford, its a struggle between the Union vs. Company. that just ruins it for them. if a someone cant get fired, laid off, or cut hours; then what motivation are there to really do your best job?

The thing is, lots of laid off Ford and GM employees couldnt be happier. Most of them go into "job bank" programs and get paid for doing nothing. So fear of layoffs isnt that high. Since I'm not a Toyota or GM employee, or any other automaker employee, I cant speak to the morale on the line. However, since GM and Ford employees are getting higher pay and more pension benefits, I cant see why they are that unhappy.


I think reliability has more to do with management and quality control not caring, again, coming down from the top, than the employees on the line.
 

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hobie237 said:
The thing is, lots of laid off Ford and GM employees couldnt be happier. Most of them go into "job bank" programs and get paid for doing nothing. So fear of layoffs isnt that high. Since I'm not a Toyota or GM employee, or any other automaker employee, I cant speak to the morale on the line. However, since GM and Ford employees are getting higher pay and more pension benefits, I cant see why they are that unhappy.


I think reliability has more to do with management and quality control not caring, again, coming down from the top, than the employees on the line.
people who gets paid alot doesnt necessarly mean that they are happy or do a better job. it just means less motivation to work. once they are locked into the job and cant be fired, then the employees tend to become complacent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with DW. It's more then just a "good" design. That's just the foundation. The best surgeon in the world can't perform to the top of his abilities with substandard medical equipment. In that same sense even a good design can be thwarted by: substandard parts, an ill trained or uncaring workforce, etc.

As the saying goes "You're only as strong as your weakest link". The design concept is just the first step, but everybody that plays a role towards completion of a vechicle is an important link in the chain.
 

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Let's not forget another important factor in reliablity: Suppliers. I know that Hondas criteria for becoming a supplier for the US made vehicles is very strict. By comparison, VW's and Chevys made in Mexico, for example are using lots of cheaper parts to save a buck on the bottom line.
 

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ck98vteC said:
Let's not forget another important factor in reliablity: Suppliers. I know that Hondas criteria for becoming a supplier for the US made vehicles is very strict. By comparison, VW's and Chevys made in Mexico, for example are using lots of cheaper parts to save a buck on the bottom line.
One of Honda's oil filter suppliers is Frahm, which is bottom of the barrel and uses cardboard in the construction of their filters. Automakers will always go with the lowest bidder.
 

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flyingtoaster said:
One of Honda's oil filter suppliers is Frahm, which is bottom of the barrel and uses cardboard in the construction of their filters. Automakers will always go with the lowest bidder.

Well, the automaker sets the specs, and then goes with the lowest bidder who meets the specs. Honda does set fairly low tolerances for most parts (aka "strict") but when it comes down to it, everybody cheaps out somewhere. See the "why your car is the way it is" link...
 

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hobie237 said:
Well, the automaker sets the specs, and then goes with the lowest bidder who meets the specs. Honda does set fairly low tolerances for most parts (aka "strict") but when it comes down to it, everybody cheaps out somewhere. See the "why your car is the way it is" link...
Stuff I already know.
 
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