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Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai Planning Job Hiring Binge in Detroit

But makers could face engineer supply shortage.

by on Jan.13, 2012

A Venza at the new Toyota engineering center near Detroit, which also includes a new test track.

It may be the home of the Big Three but Detroit has also become a major engineering center for foreign makers as diverse as Mercedes-Benz and India’s Tata Motors.  And now, three of the largest Asian makers are stepping up hiring as they expand their Motor City R&D centers.

Collectively, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai expect to add nearly 400 employees in the Detroit suburbs this year, with additional engineering-related jobs to be offered in 2013 and beyond.

With Nissan moving more engineering work to the US, the Japanese automaker is plans to hire as many as 150 additional engineers this year at its technical center in Farmington Hills to handle a steadily increasing work load.

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“We haven’t hired any new engineers in three or four years,” said Carla Bailo, president Nissan Technical Center North America. In addition, the center lost employees following the 2008 financial crisis. “We have a lot of very good senior engineers. But we need to bring on new and emerging talent,” Bailo said.


Toyota Rolls Out new Prius C Hybrid and Reveals NS4 Concept Plug-In

The next three years critical to win consumer support for battery power.

by on Jan.10, 2012

The next few years will be critical if the auto industry hopes to win popular support for new battery-based powertrain technology – rather than just having it mandated by government fiat, said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s top U.S. executive.

Lentz spoke during a well-attended news conference where the Japanese automaker outlined its electrification strategy while also rolling out a pair of new battery-based vehicles.

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The new Toyota Prius C is the latest member of a growing family of conventional gas-electric models sharing the nameplate of the world’s most popular hybrid.  But Lentz also revealed a more advanced plug-in hybrid, the Toyota NS4 Concept, that could reach market later in the decade.

The new subcompact Prius C will come to market about a year after Toyota launched a midsize spin-off dubbed the Prius V.  “If the larger Prius V stands for versatility, the Prius C stands for City,” the executive explained.

Toyota reveals the new NS4 Concept, a dedicated plug-in hybrid prototype.


Toyota Plug-in Concept Debuting in Detroit

Will accompany debut of Prius c.

by on Dec.20, 2011

Toyota offers a tease of a new plug-in hybrid model debuting at the Detroit Auto Showw next month.

Toyota will pull the wraps off an advanced plug-in concept vehicle during next month’s Detroit auto show – along with the production version of the maker’s new Prius c hybrid.

The Japanese giant isn’t saying much about the advanced plug-in but it is expected to offer significant technological improvements over Toyota’s first plug-in, a version of the conventional Prius hybrid that is just going on sale in the U.S. market.

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The Prius c, meanwhile, is set to become the newest – and smallest – member of an expanding “family” of gas-electric models sharing the Prius badge.  Both vehicles debuting in Detroit will be part of a push by Toyota to prove it remains a leader in the emerging market for “green”vehicles.