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Center for Automotive Research study calculates the full measure of Toyota’s impact on the U.S. economy

March 07, 2017

Revved Up -- Team members work on engines at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. In 2016 alone, Toyota manufactured more than 2.6 million engines at its U.S. facilities. 

Just how big of an impact does Toyota have on the U.S. economy? That’s a question that’s been asked repeatedly, almost from the day Toyota began operating in this country 60 years ago. But the answer, amid these changing times, has perhaps never been more relevant.
How should we respond?
Well, thanks to the work of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), we now have some rather impressive numbers to help us make an objective and compelling case.
First, though, a bit of background.
CAR is a nonprofit organization based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Its mission is to conduct research on significant issues related to the future of the global automotive industry, organize and conduct forums of value to the automotive community and foster industry relationships. In short, CAR is an independent source of data and analysis when it comes to the business of making and selling cars.
Every five years, Toyota commissions CAR to take stock of its presence in this country. The results of the most recent study – a measure of Toyota’s American footprint through the end of 2015 – were released at the end of 2016. These findings paint the picture of a company that has come an incredibly long way from that day in 1957 when it set up shop in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood, Calif.
Impact on People
Let’s start with jobs.
Toyota directly and indirectly employs 135,900 people in manufacturing, supporting operations and dealerships in the U.S. This economic activity helps fund another 108,400 jobs with companies that serve as direct suppliers to Toyota.
Of course, Toyota’s employment impact doesn’t stop there. The 244,300 people who have those jobs earn incomes that they spend in their local communities. CAR calculates that this economic influx generates an additional 225,800 jobs. All told, directly and indirectly, Toyota is a catalyst for $23.6 billion in net disposable income earned by some 470,100 people.
Impact on Facilities
Another way to grasp the scope of the company’s impact is investment. Through 2015, Toyota has directly invested more than $21.9 billion in the U.S., most notably in the establishment and expansion of 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and – when it opens this summer – an all-new corporate headquarters campus in Plano.
Here’s another fun fact: Over the past 20 years, $2 out of every $3 Toyota has invested in North America has been spent on U.S. facilities.
Looking ahead, Toyota has committed an additional $10 billion in U.S. capital investment over the next five years.
Impact on Production
Toyota’s nearly 40,000 U.S. production team members produced approximately 1.5 million vehicles in 2016.  Another half million were produced by team members in Canada and 80,000 in Mexico.  Total vehicle production in North America in 2016 was 2,009,633.  Additionally, Toyota manufactured 2,611,402 engines and 626,762 automatic transmissions at U.S. manufacturing facilities.
Seventy percent of the vehicles sold in the U.S. come from our U.S. assembly plants. In addition, the company’s U.S. manufacturing base is becoming a global export hub. In 2016 alone, Toyota exported more than 135,000 U.S.-built vehicles to 40 countries.
There’s been a lot of focus in the news lately on automotive production in Mexico. Toyota does have a manufacturing facility in Baja that it established in 2002. But its work on truck beds helps support production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, where 3,300 team members produced more than 230,000 Tundras and Tacomas in 2016.
Impact on Charities
Oh, and since 1996, Toyota has donated more than $700 million to American-based philanthropic organizations – including $69 million just in 2015, the year of the study.
By Dan Miller

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