Toyota shifts Lexus production to the US

Toyota Motor Corporation, the world's largest auto manufacturer, announced it will shift production of the Lexus ES sedan from its Kyushu plant in Japan to the U.S. in an effort to streamline operations, according to the Wall Street Journal. The vehicle represents Toyota's first luxury sedan made in the U.S. The increased manufacturing will take place in Toyota's existing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, which will expand, creating 750 new jobs, 590 of which are expected to be full-time, permanent positions, according to KY Forward. As more U.S. companies move production stateside, greater labor needs will likely place the services provided by recruiting agencies in high demand.

Since 2010, Toyota has moved the production of many of its vehicles to areas where the models are sold in an effort to reduce costs and export charges. The Lexus ES was considering a good candidate because production was taking place exclusively in Japan, and the car is not sold there. All units are exported to the Middle East, Asia and North America, the largest market for the sedan, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Last year, 70 percent of the cars Toyota sold in the U.S. were made in North America, according to Automotive News. The Toyota Camry has been's top American-made car for the past three years.

Growth of US manufacturing industry from foreign automakers
Thirty years ago, American automotive companies worried about the popularity of Japanese cars, but the U.S. manufacturing industry has since grown significantly as Japanese companies have shifted production to North America to reduce costs. While the trend has resulted in an advantage in efficiency for foreign car companies, but it has been a boon to U.S. workers in terms of job opportunities. According to Automotive News, many foreign automakers have committed to expanding plants or building new facilities in North America, which could mean more opportunities for American workers and manufacturing recruiters. In 2011, Japanese auto companies employed 53,693 American workers in their factories. 

As the economy continues to improve, auto sales are increasing at a quick pace. While Toyota is leading the shift stateside, other Japanese automakers like Nissan and Honda may soon shift additional production to their U.S. plants as well, according to Automotive News. Plants looking to expand can seek the services of a manufacturing recruiter to find skill professionals.