Toyota Motor Corp.'s financial linkup with Subaru will let Toyota build more Camrys in the United States. But first, Toyota will have to transform Subaru's Indiana auto plant into a Toyota plant.
"They will be trained in the Toyota Production System," Toyota executive Dennis Cuneo says of the Subaru work force.
Toyota said last month that it will invest $230 million in Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette, Ind., to add another 100,000 units of annual North American Camry production by next spring.
The plan stems from Toyota's new 8.7 percent holding in Subaru's Japanese parent, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.
Toyota plans to retain existing Subaru suppliers to handle ongoing Subaru production at the plant. Subaru produced 119,011 units there in 2005 and projects making 125,424 in 2006.
Toyota plans to use its own supply base to handle the new Camry production at the plant. The 3-million-square-foot plant, built on an 820-acre site in 1989, lists potential capacity of 262,000 units.
Cuneo, senior vice president for Toyota Motor North America Inc. in New York, says the Toyota investment will bring all things Toyota inside the Subaru plant.
That includes Toyota's "global body system," a flexible manufacturing process Toyota has installed in its own factories in recent years.
The flexible body system permits a Toyota plant to build several different models simultaneously, if necessary, and to continue producing an old model at high volume while a new generation of the same model goes into pre-production on a shared line.