2:23pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Business and the Economy

Production Decline in Georgetown Toyota

The supply problems triggered by natural disasters in Japan resulted in 50,000 fewer cars rolling off the Georgetown Toyota assembly line than the year before. According to figures released last week by Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, the automaker’s Georgetown plant produced 315,239 vehicles in 2011, down from 371,694 the previous year.

Overall, Toyota’s North American operations produced 14 percent fewer vehicles in 2011. Company officials, however, stressed the year-end rebound which saw production return to high levels despite the earthquake and tsunami which rocked Japan.

“Despite a challenging year due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that caused limited parts availability, Toyota’s team members and supplying partners were able to ramp up production ahead of schedule,” said Shigeki Terashi, president and COO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America. “This kind of commitment and customer-first spirit will set the stage for growth over the course of the year.”

Four models of Toyota are produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, the Camry, Avalon, Venza and Camry Hybrid.

The plant produced more than 38,000 Avalons in 2011, More than 219,000 Camrys, More than 48,000 Venzas and more than 8,000 Camry Hybrids.

Toyota produces 12 models in North America: Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Lexus RX350 and Venza.

TMMK, the company’s largest North American plant with 7,000 employees, saw the steepest decline after an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan last March, interrupting supply lines for parts throughout the company.

After a brief shutdown, TMMK returned to production gearing up for the August introduction of the redesigned 2012 Camry.

General Motors overtook Toyota for the industry’s sales leaders last year. Toyota has forecast a 24 percent increase in production this year to about 8.5 million vehicles.