Toyota plans to hire about 250 engineers to help it continue a shift from global to localized product development. The bulk of those new employees will be based out of the maker’s new R&D center in suburban Detroit, but it will also open a new high-tech facility in Silicon Valley.
The move reflects the significant shift in Toyota’s whole management structure. It has traditionally operated as a global monolith but is giving increasing autonomy to major regional operations, especially those in the U.S., the maker’s largest market.
The shift is underscored by the launch, this week, of the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show. The flagship sedan was developed entirely in the States, largely in the Motor City, with additional styling at CALTY, the advanced Toyota design center in Southern California.