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Toyota To Shift Production to Texas and Ontario

NUMMI is victim of the Great Recession and ongoing losses.

by on Aug.28, 2009

A flop at sales of  units a month.

A flop at sales of 6,000 units a month.

Toyota Motor Corporation plans to transfer some Tacoma compact pickup truck production from the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) plant in California to Texas in a bid to improve the productivity of its relatively new truck plant in San Antonio.

The Texas plant is widely considered a big money-loser because it was built to produce about 240,000 full-size pickup tucks per year, with expansion plans to double that, but will probably end up building about 70,000 trucks this year. Total Tundra sales through June of this year were 36,000 units.

However, given the modest volume involved — Tacoma in the first six months of this year sold 53,000 units — adding in the compact pickup truck to the model mix at San Antonio may not be enough to make the plant profitable.

Sales of Tundra full-size pickup have never approached Toyota’s ambitious targets; and the continuing strength of GM and Ford in the full size  truck market is making it very difficult for Toyota to gain market share.

TMC Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi said that Toyota also will now expand production of the Corolla in Cambridge, Ontario to offset the loss of production at NUMMI, which had been the principal source of compact Corolla models for the North American market. Corolla production will now cease at NUMMI in March 2010, Nimmi said.

Niimi also said that Toyota will also have to increase imports of Corollas after NUMMI closes — so the company is protecting jobs in Japan where it has just closed an assembly line at one of its plants. In the medium to long-term, however, Toyota claims it would like to increase Corolla production in the U.S. Reading between the lines, however, Niimi’s remarks indicate that Toyota’s plans for further expansion in the U.S. have been shelved as it will to to save  Japanese jobs as it contracts to stop multi-billion dollar losses.  Niimi also implied that General Motors should get some of the blame for the closing of the Fremont plant.


Milestones: Ford of Canada Celebrates 105 Years

Canada’s newly leading brand still has a presence there.

by on Aug.18, 2009


"There are men in Detroit who say every farmer will soon be using an automobile. I don't see why we cannot build them here in the wagon factory."

It was 105 years ago this week (August 17) that Canadian entrepreneur Gordon McGregor signed an agreement with Henry Ford and invested $125,000 to establish the Ford Motor Company of Canada at the Walkerville Wagon Works in Windsor, Ontario. Under the agreement, the company could make vehicles for all countries of the British Empire except England.

Before automobiles, Gordon McGregor was a partner with his father, William McGregor, President of the Walkerville Wagon Company Limited, Walkerville, Ontario (now Windsor, Ontario). Gordon took over the management of the company in 1901 and, on the death of his father in 1903, he assumed the Presidency of the company.

At a meeting with his brothers, Walter and Donald, in January 1904, Gordon said, “There are men in Detroit who say every farmer will soon be using an automobile. I don’t see why we cannot build them here in the wagon factory.” Shortly thereafter he went to his banker, John Curry, and discussed his ideas. Together they visited existing manufacturers of automobiles in the Detroit area, including Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Ford. Buick was just getting started. General Motors was four years in the future as was R. S. McLaughlin in Canada.

McGregor was most impressed with Henry Ford and the feeling was reciprocated for it resulted in McGregor obtaining a personal agreement which allowed him to form and finance a company to manufacture and sell Ford products in Canada.

Additionally, he obtained the right to sell Ford products in the then existing British Empire, exclusive of the British Isles. This farsightedness on the part of McGregor has resulted in Ford of Canada having wholly owned subsidiaries in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In exchange for this, McGregor agreed to give 51% of the stock of Ford of Canada to the shareholders of Ford U.S.A.

No Charter Needed!

No Charter Needed!

A Provincial Charter was issued on August 17, 1904. On August 29, 1904 the first shareholders’ meeting was held to elect officers and set policy. John S. Gray, President, Ford Motor Company, Detroit, was elected president of the Canadian company, Henry Ford, Vice President, and John Curry, Treasurer.