In a presentation at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, Jim Lentz, chief executive of Toyota Motor Sales, announced Toyota will continue to build core vehicles in North America and is considering moving more production into the area, especially with its Luxury Lexus line.
Moving production into North America will help protect the Japanese-based company against foreign currency fluctuation. Currently the company is building several cars in the continent, including the Lexus RX crossover in Canada and a new full size Avalon in Georgetown, Ky.
In an interview with CM in 2011, Paul Williamsen, national manager of Lexus College, Lexus Division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., said Toyota and Lexus vehicles are currently using composites at the component level in advanced technology vehicles. “We believe that advance lightweight materials have to go hand in hand with future advanced technology vehicles. Within composites we believe that CFRP will play a role in other advanced technology, advanced powertrain vehicles,” says Williamsen.
Toyota will continue to make announcements as more cars are designed and built in North America. It expects its largest challenge moving forward will be to meet the growing demands for increased fuel economy standards.