Toyota heads to Mississippi
As Ford and General Motors struggle with sales and capacity, Toyota Motors Corp. announced this week it was continuing its aggressive expansion into the U.S. manufacturing market. Toyota will build a new assembly plant for its Highlander SUV in Blue Springs, MS, just outside of Tupelo.
The announcement ended an intense bidding war among several southern states over the facility. Toyota already manufactures in San Antonio, Princeton, IN, Fremont, CA and Georgetown, KY, the site of the Plant Engineering 2006 Top Plant award winner.
Once the $1.3 billion facility is opened in 2010, Toyota expects to produce 150,000 Highlander a year. Extensive U.S. demand for the SUV drove Toyota to seek a U.S. manufacturing site.
This is the second major automaker to locate in Mississippi. Nissan opened its Jackson facility in 2003, continuing a trend of foreign carmakers building manufacturing facilities in the Deep South, well away from the auto industry’s traditional home in the Rust Belt.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey