Section 1. Heightened Presence in the North American Market
Item 3. Expansion of Production Bases
Restructuring of North American production
The U.S. new-car market contracted rapidly following the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the automotive industry faced drastic changes.
In July 2008, Toyota temporarily halted construction of the new plant at the recently established TMMMS, announcing a postponement in the start of production until the second half of 2010, and undertaking a restructuring of its North American manufacturing operations through changes in the vehicle series produced at each plant and consolidation of production locations. Production of the Highlander model originally planned for TMMMS was shifted to TMMI, and TMMI's production of Tundra pickup trucks was consolidated to TMMTX. Production of the Highlander began at TMMI in October 2009, with the plant becoming Toyota's North American production base for SUVs and minivans.
In this way, Toyota's North American manufacturing operations that began in 1986 with NUMMI worked proactively toward localization by expanding existing production facilities and building new plants as sales in the U.S. and Canadian markets grew. As a result, the cumulative total number of vehicles produced locally in North America reached 10 million in 2001, and 20 million by the end of 2008.