Toyota will begin making drivetrain parts for hybrid vehicles - including batteries, inverters, and electric motors - in the United States and other countries overseas within four years. Toyota currently manufactures hybrid components exclusively in Japan and wants to move their production to other countries as a way to expand gasoline-electric car sales around the world. "Right now, hybrid component production is too biased toward Japan," said Toyota's executive VP of global purchasing Shinichi Sasaki. In addition to the United States, Toyota plans to build hybrid drivetrain components in markets like China and Southeast Asia.
The company wants to divert some of its production of hybrid components elsewhere because it also wants to start building hybrid vehicles elsewhere and importing parts from Japan subjects Toyota to wavering currency exchange rates. Toyota plans to build 50,000 Camry Hybrids in the United States, as well as 30,000 Auris Hybrids a year in the United Kingdom, and finally a hybrid version of the Yaris in France. At one time, Toyota was building the second-generation Prius in China, but has halted production, while Toyota still makes CKD (complete knockdown) kit Prius and Camry Hybrid vehicles in Thailand and Australia.
Toyota's executive VP of R&D and engineering Takeshi Uchiyamada said at the Frankfurt Auto Show this week "We are entering a stage of possible local procurement." Speaking about the sufficient volume of hybrid sales outside of Japan to make the shift in suppliers cost-effective, Uchiyamada said "We need to do that to keep and increase our competitiveness."
Source: Automotive News