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Toyota Is Bullish on Sales

By Sandra Knispel | Published 26 Oct 2012 08:16am | comments
Toyota team members assemble Corollas at the Blue Springs plant in northeast Mississippi.

The car industry in North America is bouncing back. Toyota says its sales are up by more than 30 percent over last year. Yesterday, Toyota Mississippi invited reporters to tour its plant in Blue Springs, a year after it started production there. MPB’s Sandra Knispel reports.

"So this system that we have here is called our simple slim turn table and it’s unique to North America. We’re the only plant in North America that has these turntables.."

Victor Harris is the assistant manager of maintenance at Toyota’s Blue Springs plant. Behind him, Corolla shells are moving slowly past on separate tables, travelling along the assembly line on the right before turning to come back past the line of workers on a center staging area --- but now from the other side.

“With the 180 degree turn table system we’re able to pull our lines closer together, save on floor space and it also gives us the flexibility if we have to do any modification to our lines."

Flexibility in the production is key to being able to react quickly to rising demand, says David Copenhaver, Toyota Mississippi’s vice president.

“We think sales are going to continue to grow so we’re trying to get ready for the sales demand.”

Right now the plant is configured to produce 150,000 Corollas annually but can be stepped up to 200,000 units.

“The Corolla is one of those vehicles that’s really selling very well. So, the more they sell, the more we get to make. I mean that’s really the bottom line. We’re not a company that builds ahead. We build as vehicles are sold.”

And so every 85 seconds a new Corolla rolls off the assembly line in Blue Springs, that’s about 600 cars each day. If production needs to be stepped up Toyota says it’ll hire more workers to add to the 2,000 it currently employs.

Sandra Knispel, MPB News, Blue Springs.








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