Production drives and new vehicle models tend to create jobs, and Toyota is reportedly ready to join the party by year’s end at production facilities in Washtenaw County, Mich. The Detroit Free Press reports that Toyota is planning to hire 150 engineers, technicians, researchers and scientists, as well as an additional 100 jobs to bolster engine and transmission development in its North American vehicles.
Jobs for Ann Arbor and Saline, Mich.
The Free Press notes that the majority of the new jobs will be filled at Toyota production facilities in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Saline, Mich. Powertrain, mechanical design, electrical engineering and other aspects of advanced research will be handled at these facilities.
Seiya Nakao, president of Toyota Technical Center, sees the moves as central to the automaker’s future growth.
“The hiring of 150 new engineers this year at TTC gives us renewed confidence that our local operation has the experience and leadership to lead us into the future,” said Nakao. “We are seeking talented, motivated individuals who thrive on challenges, who are team players and implement improvements in safety, quality and performance.”
Government officials sing Toyota’s praises
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder called Toyota’s decision to invest further in the state as a confirmation of Michigan’s excellence in automotive engineering.
“This great news underscores the importance of our missions to meet with business leaders globally,” said Snyder. “And, most of all, speaks to the high value of Michigan’s greatly improved business climate and the increased focus on our state’s strong and talented workforce.”
Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.), whose constituency resides in the district where Toyota’s production facilities are located, praised the automaker for “creating good-paying jobs right here in Southeast Michigan.”
The action in Ann Arbor
Currently, Toyota employs about 1,100 workers in Ann Arbor. Employees at the technical center perform duties related to engineering design, vehicle evaluation, prototype construction, powertrain tuning, engineering of materials and more. The Toyota Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and RAV4 EV are all developed at the location.
Introducing the 2013 Toyota Avalon
Thursday at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, Toyota showed off another of the reasons for new jobs: the 2013 Toyota Avalon full-size sedan. Toyota Vice President of Sales Bob Carter confirmed that the new Avalon was engineered at TTC. The Avalon is Toyota’s main full-size sedan, boasting plenty of interior room and a standard V6 engine known for its reliability.
“It’s a car that captures Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s vision for more exciting vehicles,” Carter said. “It’s designed, engineered, manufactured, sold and serviced in America.”
Sales of the Avalon sagged in 2011, down to 28,925 units, well behind primary competitors like the Chevrolet Impala (171,434 units sold in 2011), Ford Taurus (63,526), Buick LaCrosse (58,474), Nissan Maxima (58,737) and Chrysler 300 (36,285). Many of these models depend upon fleet sales, however.