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Posted on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

Toyota Technical Center to hire 150 employees in 2012 in Washtenaw County

By Lizzy Alfs


The Toyota Technical Center employs about 1,100 at its York Township and Ann Arbor Township campuses. Here, the 155,000-square-foot York Township facility is pictured.

Melanie Maxwell |

Japanese automaker Toyota said today it plans to hire 150 additional employees in 2012 to work for the Toyota Technical Center division, which employs 1,100 workers in York Township and Ann Arbor Township.

The company is looking to hire engineers, technicians, advanced researchers and scientists who will work in the areas of powertrain, mechanical design, electrical engineering, electronics and advanced research.

In addition, the Toyota Technical Center plans to add another 100 jobs over the next five years to advance engine and transmission development for the North American market.

Most of the positions will be located at the Toyota Technical Center's facilities in Ann Arbor Township and York Township.

The announcement reflects the company's "commitment to localizing vehicle design and development in the North American region," according to a release. Toyota has gradually been shifting resources to the U.S., positioning the Ann Arbor area engineering center for growth.

"The hiring of 150 new engineers this year at TTC gives us renewed confidence that our local operation has the experience and leadership to lead us into the future," said Seiya Nakao, president of TTC, in a release. "We are seeking talented, motivated individuals who thrive on challenges, who are team players and implement improvements in safety, quality and performance."

The release also quoted Gov. Rick Snyder, who said the company’s continued growth in the state “speaks to the high value of Michigan’s greatly improved business climate.”

The news comes a week after an economic forecast conducted by University of Michigan economists predicted Washtenaw County is poised to see job growth in the manufacturing sector in the next three years.

The forecast predicted the county would add more than 11,000 jobs in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“It just sounds a lot like Ann Arbor,” said George Fulton, who conducted the forecast with Donald Grimes. “You’ve got computer systems design, you’ve got scientific research and development, you have testing labs, you have engineering. That’s where a lot of the growth is going to come from.”

The Toyota Technical Center opened its 155,000-square-foot York Township facility in 2008 after acquiring 690 acres from the state of Michigan in 2005. Toyota built the center specifically so that it could expand if it decides to do so at some point.

“It’s quite a large piece of property that can support future expansion,” said Ed Mantey, a vice president for engineering design at Toyota Technical Center, in September 2011.

The company -- which announced its plans at the New York International Auto Show today -- also announced that it has opened an office in California’s Silicon Valley.

In addition, Toyota unveiled its 2013 Avalon sedan. The car's engineering development was led by empoyees at the Toyota Technical Center, according to a release.

Toyota Motor Corp. is forecasting its 2012 vehicle sales to exceed 14 million, up from a previous forecast of 13.6 million.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 5:28 a.m.

Toyota doesn't owe the government 24 Billion dollars like GM still does.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

@Snapshot. You are right. Toyota got its financing from the Japanese government. Thorugh the Japanese government's MITI, they got zero percent loans for decades so they could develop cars like the Prius and meet US fuel economy standards while the onus was on the US companies to come up with the financing on their own. In essense, GM and Chrysler did not get nothing from the US govenrment that the Japanese government was providing their automakers for decades. With the assistnace of the Japanese government coupled with Toyota's hidden defects is it any wonder the US auto industry was in trouble?


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

When you buy the Fusion, over $0.75 of your dollar goes to American workers. Only $0.25 of your dollar stays in this country when you buy the "American made" Honda or Toyota. Don't be fooled. Less than 25% of the cost of the vehicle is in the assembly. Ford and GM obviously employee many more American employees than Honda or Toyota. Why would this be the case, if the Toyota and Honda were more "American made". This made in America import gives you 1,000 michigan employees vs 137,000 from the American companies. I can not believe this is even a discussion. You are believing adds from forgien sales people. Just count the American employees or even better yet, count the Michigan employees. This state really needs your money. Say you like the car better, but don't buy foriegn thinking you are supporting America.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:19 a.m.

John, the US content calculations for automobiles are very difficult to verify. Especially this less than 25% number for American companies. If what you reference were true, Toyota and Honda would have more US employees than the big three. This is not the case especially here in our state. True, Asia is having us assemble their designs using their supplier's components. This is not a model for success for the United States. We did not become a strong nation by being low cost labor for other countries. The only numbers I use are employed Michigan tax payers, 1 to 137k. The power of a company is in the technology and profit it creates. These stay with Japan for Toyota and Honda. This doesn't even help the plant workers in the US. Toyota pays hourly labor less then the domestics companies do and in doing so erode our middle class. For every foriegn plant laborer, there is one less domestic company laborer which was making a higher wage. How is this helping our country John? I think you have sold out.

John Frank

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

I don't know where you get your data. Last time I looked (several years ago), the two cars with the greatest domestic (U.S.) content were the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord -- each with 91 percent. At that time many Ford and GM cars had less than 25 percent, and I believe that's still true. Toyota achieves their high domestic content with an unequaled degree of vertical integration. For example their Georgetown, Kentucky plant, which I visited during my career as an R&D manager, manufactures engines, transmissions, sheet metal, interior trim, etc., -- and performs final assembly of the cars.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

Good post !

Ricardo Queso

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

Yes, by all means buy American. As an example; the Ford Fusion built in Hermosa, Mexico.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Here is info on Toyota's direct employment in the US.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

Nice inflated stats on the part of Toyota. If you were to use their formula, you would still see the Big Three employes exponentially more in this country than the transplants. Furthermore, Toyota is including the part-timers that are employed as well as the many "temporary status" employees that they employ. Furhthermore, for every job that has been given to some farmer in Kentucky, West Virginia or Alabama, someone in Michigan- most likely someone you know- has lost their job: essentially it is a zero some game. In fact, there have been studies by the Center for Automotive research that said that for every transplant job created outside the state, six people in Michigan loose their jobs. Been to Detroit, Pontiac, or Flint lately? If Toyota wants to do something, build a plant in the inner city here or in another state.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

Toyota has become a large donor to many of the Ann Arbor area nonprofits. There was a huge gap when Pfizer left and Toyota has really stepped up in community service and donations.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

These should be higher paying quality jobs. Good for them and good for the local economy.

Anne R.

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

What are the addresses of the 2 "campuses."


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

Why would that be in the story? Google will show you the addresses for the York and Ann Arbor Township locations.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

I wonder if the bumper sticker " Out of a job yet, keep buying foreign" applies to Toyota workers. Not a very well thought out bumper sticker. Really only applies to Ford, GM and Chrysler workers.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

@ Hank: The jobs at the TTC are not blue collar ones.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 4:23 a.m.

EyeheartA2 How can you put down the 150 people that will be working for Toyota. They have families they need to support. Is it because they are blue collar workers? There is nothing wrong with working hard for a living.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

So you can give your dollars to 1K poeple from our state and take money from 137K, or you can support 137K of the State's employees. The money feeds all segments of our state's economy. As for the made in America comment with Toyota and Honda leading, realize only about 25% of the cost of your vehicle is the assembly cost. Don't be fooled by thinking more of your money is supporting America when you buy a foreign vehicle. Realize what you take from our state when you buy foreign.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

@harry "Any job is good in this economy." Agreed. Good for the local economy "Its unfair for you to target toyota employees. They too are americans." WOW, let's review shall we?: - There is a story that Toyota is hiring - You take a swat at the Detroit carmakers - I respond and (oh by the way) add some data to put it all in perspective - In fact I have yet to render an opinion one way or the other on Toyota, or their employees, yet you seem to think that my facts and figures are disparaging the automakers employees hmmmmmmm. Are the facts that damning?


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

@ djacks24: Well I will never even consider an import unless it is made in Michigan- I support the home team. A lot of the rap against the Big Three is perception. I know just as many people that are unhappy with their imports, and the few times I had the misfortune of having to rent one, I was less than impressed. BTW, I have owned over ten American-made cars since 1995 and I have taken them in for a grand total of six times during that span for non-maintenance related issues.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

"The only reason Toyota is here is to hire away people from the Big Three to steal ideas." So that's why for at least two decades the Japanese automakers were beating our pants off when it came to vehicle quality and durability? I had worked in the car business for nearly 20 years working with every make of vehicle. Just up until the last few years the American auto companies couldn't make a vehicle built nearly as good as a Japanese vehicle. As a matter of fact I will only own an import. Though I buy mine used pretty cheap with nearly or over 100k when they are just getting broken in. Furthermore buying them this way isn't directly benefiting the foreign auto makers.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

@1BlockRadius. The Japanese have plants in Ohio, Ontario, Kentucky, Michigan (Flat Rock), and West Virginia- all not right to work states. Add Indiana to that list whose Japanese plants were built before right-to-work legislation was passed. In fact the entry-level wage at a Unionized Big Three plant is less than the entry-level wage at a Transplant. Furthermore, there are many unionized Big Three plants that blow the transplants away in terms of quality and productivity. The reason why there are not too many transplants in Michigan? Incompetent economic development policies- the latest to be carried forth by Snyder- and the fact that the Transplants want to buy political clout by locating their plants in multiple states so folks like Dick Shelby will go to bat for them when the Domestic auto industry needs support.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

@EyeHeart: Good posts. What people fail to realize is that while these jobs are good, they only represent a minute portion of the value chain in the manufacture of an auto. Even though Chrysler is owned in part by Fiat, they at least they have the complete value chain- from design to final assembly in Michigan. The only reason Toyota is here is to hire away people from the Big Three to steal ideas. Ultimately, the only ones that benefit from this token investment are the country squires down in Mississippi and Kentucky who build these cars. In essense, the state is subsidizing a competitor to weaken the golden goose of Ford, GM, and Chrysler. In fact, the heads of the Big Three were incencensed at Granholm for pursuing this little engineering center for the very reason that people were being hired away. When we are talking about numbers, GM, Ford, and Chrysler are hiring just as many as if not more of these engineers as well as hiring thousands and adding shifts in their Michigan plants- plants where they actaully make something. The politicians need to realize that the real economic value is with manufacturing. I am not saying this little engineering office should not have been pursued, but it should only have been pursued with the conjunction of a Michigan plant to employ those who may not be college educated.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Gee I wonder if the Union has anything to do with some of the other automakers not having manufacturing in Michigan ? I wonder why those automakers might not want to deal w/ the unions ? Afterall, unions are great - right ?


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Eyeheart Any job is good in this economy. Its unfair for you to target toyota employees. They too are americans.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

@driveadeer 1. I didn't complain about jobs in Michigan, I complained about an ignorant post. 2. I don't live in Kentucy (home of the Explorer, Corvette, Super Duty and Expedition), nor do I live in Indiana (Home of Fort Wayne Assembly and Bedford Powertrain), but I do live in the US where the GM and Ford employ more people than all the foreign automakers combined.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

The two most "American" cars are made by #1: Toyota, #2: Honda. @EyeHeart: you mentioned Toyota's 1152 direct employees in Michigan. As you probably know, Toyota doesn't manufacture in Michigan. So, where are the comparisons for how many direct employees the Detroit 3 have in Kentucky, or Indiana, or Mississippi? I really can't believe that anyone would complain about ANY job coming to Michigan; especially high paying jobs in the Ann Arbor area.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

Great point Dave and one that I've been making too. It's no longer the Big 3 but the Big 2 if you go by the reasoning a lot of the pro-American car people give such as the the money goes back overseas. I guess it's o.k. if it goes back to Germany (Daimler) or now Italy rather than an Asian country.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

I don't remember telling you what "my way" was. Perhaps you can point that out to me in my post? I think I was adding a few facts and figures to yours, seeing as how it was lacking anything resembling perspective. @Dave, I happen to agree with you, but the fact is, they have a real presence in SE Michigan and do contribute to the economy in a very major way. Toyota? Not so much.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Last I checked, Chrysler's majority owner is Italian. Technically they aren't an American company now.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

There is 1152 michiganders who's family will go hungry if you ever got your way.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

Toyota Michigan employment = 1152 Detroit 3 Michigan employment = 137,000 So, I think the bumper sticker is fairly accurate. But wait! Once Toyota adds the 150 jobs, they will be up to... lessee here, carry the one, 6 gozinta 4, wait, wait oh yes, here it is: 1302 Of couse the other three guys are hiring too.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

I really need to finish up my mechanical engineering degree.