The Yen is soaring, and that means it's costing Japanese manufacturers a lot of money to sell goods here in the United States. Some are moving areas of production to other countries, yet Toyota has decided to open its first new Japanese manufacturing facility in nearly 20 years.
Toyota's newest plant is called the Miyagi factory and it sits 160 miles north of Tokyo. Currently, production there is limited to work on the Yaris, but Toyota plans to add two more compact vehicles by April.
This new facility is designed to cut energy demand and speed up production efforts. Cars are positioned parallel to each other on the line rather than nose to tail. This allows work to be done on both the front and rear of the vehicles simultaneously. Time on the assebmly line has been cut 35 percent because of this move.
Changes to production and facilities, like the ones employed in the new Miyagi factory, will help Toyota reduce its capital spending by as much as 40 percent. A huge savings for a Japanese manufacturer that's patiently waiting for the U.S. Dollar to play catch up with the Yen.