Toyota, Mazda and Made in America

Toyota, Mazda and Made in America

January 26, 2018

Toyota and Mazda have chosen, and their choice is Alabama. The two car manufacturers will together build a $1.6 billion factory in Huntsville, Alabama.

Despite a forecast of declining new car sales in the U.S. from analysts, the Toyota-Mazda plant, opening in 2021, will provide 4,000 jobs, have a manufacturing capacity of 300,000 cars a year, and utilize 2,500 acres of land to accommodate suppliers of major components such as seats and dashboards.

In addition to creating an auto-manufacturing hub in the Deep South, the Toyota-Mazda plant will help stimulate the regional economy by attracting other businesses including home building, restaurants, stores, and service companies ranging from office cleaning to technology support.

This post is based on the NY Times article,Toyota and Mazda Choose Alabama for $1.6 Billion Car Plant, by Neal E. Boudette, January 10, 2018.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the reasons for Toyota and Mazda to choose Huntsville, Alabama, as the location for their auto manufacturing plant?

Guidance: Reasons include: proximity of Toyota’s existing engine plant and Corolla plants, proximity to suppliers, creating an auto-manufacturing hub, stimulating the local economy, government incentives, and pressure to produce more vehicles in the U.S.

2. What are Continue reading

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Truckers, C’mon Back

Truckers, C’mon Back

The current demand for truck drivers is high. Or is it turnover that’s the problem? Or freight to carry?

A combination of driver shortage, high turnover, stressful life, and stagnant pay have contributed to a widespread rush to lure new drivers with financial incentives. If the shortage persists, the imbalance between supply and demand in this labor market will cause disruptions in the supply chain.

This post is based on the USA Today article,  Trucking Firms Offer Up to $8,000 for Drivers to Ease Shortage, by T. Evanoff, December 26, 2017.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the reasons for an apparently short supply of drivers?

Guidance: The main reasons seem to be low pay, demographics, difficult living conditions, and lack of privacy. The pay has been relatively flat since the 1980s, and like in many other industries, it has not fully recovered from the negative effect of the great recession. The large trucking companies’ hiring of inexperienced drivers seems to have heightened that effect. Many drivers are baby boomers and are retiring, further exacerbating the shortage. Truck drivers work many hours and are away from home most of the time. The addition of cameras in the cabins Continue reading

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