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Lindsay Chappell |

Automotive News | 5:51 pm, March 15, 2007




The executive who oversaw Toyota's surprisingly expensive Tundra assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas, has been reassigned to a new post in Japan.

Hidehiko "T.J." Tajima will return to Japan to take over Toyota's corporate social responsibility activities next month, just as San Antonio launches its second work shift.

A replacement from Japan has not yet been named. The redesigned Tundras assembled at the plant went on sale in February.

Dan Sieger, spokesman for the company's manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., says there is nothing unusual about Tajima's departure, and that Toyota project leaders sometimes rotate jobs as soon as their project is complete.

"I think you'll see the pace of rotations increase for our executives now -- Japanese and American," Sieger said. "It's a way to help us do all of the different things we're doing."

Tajima has been president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas Inc. since the project launched in 2003. The plant was to have cost Toyota $850 million. But due to project changes and higher than expected material costs, it ended up costing $1.28 billion for a production capacity of 200,000 trucks a year.

That did not include an additional $300 million spent on the project by 21 on-site suppliers to construct adjacent or near-by parts operations.

Toyota has insisted that higher construction costs are a new norm for auto plants. Earlier this month, the company said it will spend $1.3 billion to build an even smaller new plant near Tupelo, Miss. By comparison, Honda Motor Co. is now constructing a larger new plant in Indiana with a $550 million price tag.

Cost over-runs were not the San Antonio project's only surprise for an automaker that doesn't like surprises. Toyota also discovered during the project that its production schedule was not on the same page with the Huntsville, Ala., engine plant that would supply it.

Toyota sales and marketing officials insisted that the first sellable new Tundras contain 5.7-liter V-8 engines, in order to be able to boast a horsepower similar to the pickups offered by its Detroit 3 competitors. But that engine was not scheduled to be produced in Huntsville until mid-2007.

The discovery required changes in the product plans for both the truck plant and the Alabama engine factory.

San Antonio built 6,246 Tundras last month, according to Toyota. That puts the ramp-up at close to its expected rate of production, says Sieger. At full capacity, two shifts will each build about 100,000 trucks a year.


From: www.autonews.com




PS:

Isn't that funny. The person responsibe for Toyotas least efficient vehicle is the new head of their "Social Responsibilty" department.

Another way of saying "Kicked Upstairs"



Well, If Halliburton can move to Dubai..........
 

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Toyota spins everything. They try to make this guy enviromentally friendly.. while he Burn close to a Billion more than he was supposed to making.. a beast than Enviro's will not like.. and that is not practical for real work crews...
 

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Toyota spins everything. They try to make this guy enviromentally friendly.. while he Burn close to a Billion more than he was supposed to making.. a beast than Enviro's will not like.. and that is not practical for real work crews...
Exactly, Toyota should have taken more time to design the Tundra, but then they would have been way over budget.
 
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