Toyota has set aside $1.33 billion to “overhaul” its largest factory in the world, where one-fourth of its North American vehicles are produced. The money is part of the company’s five-year, $10 billion investment in the United States.
The cash injection won’t add new jobs to Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, factory, but will work to maintain the plant’s existing 8,200 jobs, the most Toyota has at any one plant in the world, the company said Monday. With the investment, the company said it will also incorporate new design, engineering and manufacturing strategies, as well as an overall plant makeover.
The $1.33 billion investment is part of the company’s “plan to invest $10 billion dollars in the US over the next five years, on top of the nearly $22 billion Toyota has invested in the US. over the past 60 years,” Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz said in a statement.
In 2016, the plant produced about a quarter of all Toyota vehicles made in North America, or more than 500,000. The Georgetown factory recently added more than 700 jobs to help with the launch of the 2018 Camry, the top-selling car in the US. The plant is also home to the Lexus ES 350.
“This is the largest investment in our plant’s history,” said Wil James, the president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., in the statement.
“This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive, further cementing our presence in Kentucky,” James added.
Top Kentucky politicians and even President Donald Trump praised the investment in the company’s news release. Trump was included in the release at the White House’s request, according to AP. Trump plugged the investment as proof his administration is improving the overall American economy.
“Toyota’s decision to invest $1.3 billion in their Kentucky plant is further evidence that manufacturers are now confident that the economic climate has greatly improved under my administration and echoes the recent National Association of Manufacturers’ 2017 Outlook Survey showing that 93% of manufacturers are now optimistic, which is an increase of 37% from just a few months ago,” Trump said.
In the release, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) congratulated the company, “especially its thousands of hard-working Kentuckians.”
The US South, including Kentucky, is stridently anti-union, which has led the region’s challenge to traditional car-making states like Michigan and Ohio for supremacy of the American automotive industry.
In early January, Kentucky Republicans, who had recently seized both chambers of the State Legislature to complement a Republican governor, quickly approved an anti-union “right-to-work” law while repealing another a law that provided higher wages to workers involved in publicly financed construction projects. Opponents of the legislative actions said the Kentucky Legislature moved on these issues with unprecedented speed and secrecy.
“Members of the Legislature were not given the opportunity to read these bills, to thoroughly debate them in committee, to thoroughly debate them on the floors of the chambers before they were passed,” Richard Becker, a union organizer with Service Employees International Union, told Democracy Now in January. “And as a result, those of us on the ground here in Kentucky are still actually trying to wrap our heads around what exactly passed.”
Eleven percent of Kentucky’s wage and salary workers are members of a union, according to the US Labor Department.
Just prior to taking office, Trump took to Twitter to threaten Toyota with a “big border tax” if the company built a factory in Mexico. But the company had approved of the Guanajuato plant in April 2015 and had begun construction two months before Trump’s comments. Toyota assured Americans that no US jobs would move over the border for the new plant.
By Joshua Jamerson
Private-sector hiring this year remained strong as employers reported adding more workers to their payrolls in March than expected, according to a report released Wednesday.
Private payrolls across the nation rose by 263,000 last month, said payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics. This was much better than a gain of 180,000 expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. In February, ADP’s report showed the private-sector added 298,000 jobs. The report is based on data collected from ADP clients in addition to lagged behind government figures.
“The gains are broad based but most notable in the goods producing side of the economy including construction, manufacturing and mining,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.
Goods-producing industries, which include construction and manufacturing, added 82,000 jobs. Meanwhile, service-providing sectors such as hospitality added 181,000 jobs in March.
Most of the job gains came from small businesses, defined by ADP as companies with 49 or fewer employees. These firms added 118,000 jobs. Midsize firms with 50 to 499 employees added 100,000 workers, while large businesses added 45,000.
“Consumer dependent industries including health care, leisure and hospitality, and trade had strong growth during the month,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
The Labor Department’s job report for March is expected on Friday. Economists surveyed by the Journal expect employers to have added 175,000 nonfarm jobs.
By Rick Wells
Communist Bernie Sanders can’t help but sneer as Wolf Blitzer points out in his question that “President Trump signed sweeping executive order this week involving the Environmental Protection Agency, which officials said looks to curb the federal government’s enforcement of climate regulations by putting American jobs above addressing climate change, uh, react to that move.”
Sanders is not a believer in private sector employment as a devotee of Soviet Union style economic success. He was happy driving around in his Lada when it was running or pushing it through the streets when it wasn’t. He and Jane looked forward to mother Russia providing them with a new one every twenty years, whether they needed it or not.
It’s not surprising that he would think it’s crazy to waste all of that effort on creating jobs when the government can simply declare that they exist, require attendance and provide compensation. It’s even crazier to think that jobs could be a consideration to be weighed against the austerity of earth worship due to the attack of the air and water monster, the climate change boogeyman.
Sanders replied, “Wolf, that is such a nonsensical and stupid and dangerous approach, it’s almost indescribable. Look, the scientific community is virtually unanimous, (based upon manipulated data and falsified reports). While Trump and his friends may think climate change is a hoax, what the scientists are telling us, it is real, it is caused by human activity, it is already causing devastating problems.”
Just don’t ask him for specifics, where there is any man-caused devastation taking place because he won’t be able to come up with any that hold water and he’ll just get angry. Commies hate it when their hypocrisy and dishonesty are pointed out to them.
He notes that some stupid people in other countries, who were sold a bill of goods by the big-eared fraud who used to occupy our White House, “beginning to transform their energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficient -“
The video quit and it’s just as well for the Bolshevik. Those nations can only begin to transform because there’s no way that pretend energy can provide for the world’s energy needs the same way as real fuels, what he calls fossil fuels do. Everything else is an expensive charade, intended to bankrupt this nation.
The fact that it is now coming to an end under President Trump is the reason that Sanders was so descriptive in the beginning, the reason he finds putting employment back as the primary consideration over the fairy tale to be so dangerous. Once people get back to work they’re going to like having things and realize that there isn’t any damage being done. Then they’re screwed. Nobody will sign up for their world government then.
Ford has announced that it will create 130 jobs when it invests $1.2 billion in Michigan auto plants. The investment follows contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers almost two years ago.
President Donald Trump tweeted before the official announcement, saying “car companies are coming back to the US even though a Ford executive said the plant investments were planned long before Trump took office.
“Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!,” the president tweeted.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also weighed in on Twitter, “Two weeks after @POTUS met with auto execs… Ford plans ‘significant’ investment in 3 plants.”
Ford will allocate $850 million to reviving the Bronco and Ranger lines, $200 million to another facility that builds Mustangs, and $150 million to an engine plant, the company announced.
The majority of the investment was known by Ford workers before voters cast their ballots on November 8. The package was agreed between Ford and the United Auto Workers union nearly two years ago.
“This plan was in place at least in 2015, when the last UAW contract was negotiated,” Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Autotrader.com told New York Daily News.
The news comes less than two weeks after Trump met with auto executives in Michigan and spoke of his aims to roll back auto regulations. The president hinted then that a major announcement would be forthcoming.
Ford and UAW clearly credited their 2015 labor agreement.
“Thanks to collective bargaining, the hard-working men, and women at each of these locations will now reap the full fruits of their labor,” UAW-Ford Vice President Settles said in a statement.
During a briefing at the White House on Tuesday, spokesman, Sean Spicer, was asked about Trump accepting political credit for the announcement.
“I’ll leave it up to Ford to make that determination,” Spicer told reporters. “I think that we’re obviously pleased with more Americans getting jobs throughout various sectors, and I think that we’ll continue and the president has made it very clear that he continues to fight to bring back jobs and manufacturing here in the country.”
Ford promised in the contract to invest $9 billion in US plants over a four-year period ending in 2019, with about $1.2 billion earmarked for three Michigan facilities, according to the Detroit News.
Ford, in January, scuttled plans for a $1.6 billion facility in Mexico to move production of the Focus sedan. Even though plant construction was called off, the company said production of the Focus would still move south of the border. While Ford executives said a pro-business White House and Congress was a factor, they maintained Trump’s attacks on the company weren’t a factor.
The decision was because people weren’t buying many sedans —instead going for SUVs and small trucks, executives said at the time, according to the New York Daily News.