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GRDadof3

Toyota Plant in West Michigan

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There was a big article in the paper today about the possibility of luring Toyota to West Michigan for future plant expansions:

Hey, Toyota: What about us?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

By Julia Bauer

The Grand Rapids Press

West Michigan Welcomes Toyota!

A pipe dream? Imagine General Motors Corp.'s closest rival rolling out fleets of autos on an expansive site along the state's western shore.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm takes her quest for Michigan-made Toyotas to the carmaker's top executives Monday in the Land of the Rising Sun. Her trip to Japan is making big waves at company headquarters, said Dennis Cuneo, Toyota's man for site selection in North America.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss...8070.xml&coll=6

What does everyone think? At 1500 acres of land needed, it would most likely be in a rural area between here and Holland, or between Kalamazoo/Battle Creek (where there are many Japanese suppliers in the Fort Custer Industrial Park) and GR. Understandably a lot of jobs, but any downsides?

BTW: Toyota's North American Site Selection guy is from Holland.

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"BTW: Toyota's North American Site Selection guy is from Holland."

^Hopefully he has some hometown pride.. ;-)

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Sorry to be such a pessimist, but there is no possibility of a Toyota plant in this state. This is just Granholm playing politicks.

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Sorry to be such a pessimist, but there is no possibility of a Toyota plant in this state.  This is just Granholm playing politicks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I am not a big fan of Granholm, but wouldn't this be a big risk for her if she comes back with nothing?

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I am not a big fan of Granholm, but wouldn't this be a big risk for her if she comes back with nothing?

I'm sure she has something, just not a new OEM assembly plant.

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I'm interested to hear why you guys don't think so. The big objection to large company expansions in this area in the late 90's was lack of an available workforce because of the extremely low unemployment rate (funny how times change). We certainly have available labor now.

Toyota uses both union and non-union workforces at its plants in the U.S. now.

There are a tremendous amount of Toyota suppliers in this area, moreso than the other side of the State and in other parts of the country.

Battle Creek is home to a large number of Japanese automotive suppliers because of how honorably the Japanese were treated at Fort Custer when they were interned during WWII (interesting history there if you do some digging). Much goodwill with the West Michigan area.

Just curious ;)

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Toyota more than any other company on the planet has been responsible for destroying the dominance of Michigan's auto industry. It would be simply amazing and ironic for them to open an auto assembly plant in the same state.

Beyond that, I don't think they will open a plant anywhere where they will be forced to deal with the UAW.

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I would be surprised if Toyota came around here. Granholm may be taking a risk if she doesnt come through, but, from what I understand, she stands a good chance of losing in '06. I think there are a lot of folks in the state who would like to see her go. It would be good for jobs if they came, definately a good boost for west MI. Unfortunately, unions are too strong in Michigan so I wouldn't be surprised if Toyota looked elsewhere too...

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OK, you guys should really read the article ;) Toyota has UAW plants in several locations in the U.S., as well as a joint venture with GM (of all companies) in California, that is also UAW. Many companies in this area are already very familiar with Japanese manufacturing practices like Kanban and Kaizen.

I just hope Granholm brushed up on her Japanese culture before she left. Do NOT stick a business card in your pocket, Jen :w00t:

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Toyota coming to Grand Rapids would be ironic, and kind of a big middle finger pointed at the eastern side of the state I would not be surprised to see it happen, which would solidify Granholm on this side of te state for at least this election.

As for Granholm's chances she has no serious competition for her job in 2006, even with her seemingly low job approval ratings {which are still above 50% last I checked), she has no serious competition in 2006, granted its early, but the best name is DeVos? I imagine Jeremy Feiger had better chances against John Engler. Everyone I talk to seems to think Devos has no chance in hell to win, and I tend to agree. He is too polarizing, and if the plant comes to West Michigan, he wont even have the West's support. Both parties seem to run from the eastern side of the state now so that also weakens his chances.

But I have to also say im dissapointed that the only thing both parties seem to want to improve are on manufacturing, I think if we dumped the non cooperatibe congress, we would see some action towards moving Michigan into a new economy. One that is better adapted to the current market conditions. Reelecting creaky old conservatives who cling onto the auto industry wont change that.

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Toyota coming to Grand Rapids would be ironic, and kind of a big middle finger pointed at the eastern side of the state  I would not be surprised to see it happen, which would solidify Granholm on this side of te state for at least this election.

As for Granholm's chances she has no serious competition for her job in 2006,  even with her seemingly low job approval ratings {which are still above 50% last I checked), she has no serious competition in 2006, granted its early, but the best name is DeVos? I imagine Jeremy Feiger had better chances against John Engler. Everyone I talk to seems to think Devos has no chance in hell to win, and I tend to agree. He is too polarizing, and if the plant comes to West Michigan, he wont even have the West's support. Both parties seem to run from the eastern side of the state now so that also weakens his chances.

But I have to also say im dissapointed that the only thing both parties seem to want to improve are on manufacturing, I think if we dumped the non cooperatibe congress, we would see some action towards moving Michigan into a new economy. One that is better adapted to the current market conditions. Reelecting creaky old conservatives who cling onto the auto industry wont change that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey, let's not talk about age around here ;) That would be funny to give a big fat middle finger to the East side (sorry Detroiters, we love ya). I'm just afraid of where they would put such a monstruous facility if it ever happened, and the sprawl that would come with it. 1500 acres is roughly 4 square miles :blink: "New Toyota plant announced for Drenthe, Michigan" LOL>

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actually the best place for a plant like that would be along I-96 somewhere, If I were to guess I'd say somewhere around Coopersville/Marne Area.

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actually the best place for a plant like that would be along I-96 somewhere, If I were to guess I'd say somewhere around Coopersville/Marne Area.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You might be right. There is a lot of open farmland to the North and South of the Coopersville exit.

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heh, I lived in Coopersville 5 years ago, a plant of that magnitude would probably be too much, but a massive Toyota plant in the West side of the state would be an awesome gain for its power within the state. I forsee a powershift in the comming decades...

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heh, I lived in Coopersville 5 years ago, a plant of that magnitude would probably be too much, but a massive Toyota plant in the West side of the state would be an awesome gain for its power within the state. I forsee a powershift in the comming decades...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That would be great. That was my only issue is that it would create a new pocket of sprawl in the countryside, although the areas between GR and the lakeshore are already filling in. There is no way they would allow it in the apple orchards of the Alpine/M-37/Sparta area. But the farmers along the I-196 Hudsonville/Jamestown/Drenthe area are all selling to developers one-by-one.

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There are massive tracks of Land on Alpine, north of six mile, south of 10 mile just waiting to be developed, Its a good size, and safe from the "northern folk" from Sparta's, growth inhibiting reach. I doubt Alpine twp. would allow a monstrous manufacturing complex in. It would be interesting. Besides, the Alpine corridor is the most congested, thoroughfare in the metro area, carrying the heaviest volumes of traffic. anything like that would simply make it worse.

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There are massive tracks of Land on Alpine, north of six mile, south of 10 mile just waiting to be developed,  Its a good size, and safe from the "northern folk" from Sparta's, growth inhibiting reach.  I doubt Alpine twp. would allow a monstrous  manufacturing complex in.  It would be interesting.  Besides, the Alpine corridor is the most congested, thoroughfare in the metro area, carrying the heaviest volumes of traffic. anything like that would simply make it worse.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, Alpine is bad. I'm sure something of that magnitude would probably warrant a new exit off of 131 near 6 or 7 Mile (if it were in that area). I think that area of farmland just South of I-196 near Byron Road in Jamestown Twp that sits way up high would be a good spot. Right near the new South Beltline, close to GR and Holland area auto suppliers, no forested area that would be lost, etc... I'm sure Grand Rapids Real Estate that controls all of that land along 131 South of GR are just salivating at the thought. Of course, this is all total speculation :whistling:

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Will never go in North of town. The entire 'ridge' is being protected by the state and land sales are harshly limited. It is one of the (if not the) most productive fruit growing regions in the nation if not world. The state is not willing to see it pissed away on sprawl.

I believe there are now limits in place in terms of what size lots sell, and how many can be sold. The idea is to keep farms in the area for as long as possible.

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I think that IF Toyota builds a plant in Michigan it would likely build it in either Mid-Michigan or Southeastern Michigan, where the automotive infastructure already exists, and since GM and Toyota are having joint projects more often, Toyota's chances of putting themselves near GM and possibly using the same suppliers is increasing. The new GM plant in Delta Twp. just West of Lansing is nearing completion, it sets on 1300 acres and the building itself is over 2.2 million sq. ft. and the project cost is around $1 billion. I guess you may as well toss a coin to see what Toyota is going to do, cross your fingers...

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Hey, it's always fun to speculate. There doesn't seem to be rhyme nor reason to some of the locations for some of these transplants (other than low labor cost). Jackson, Mississippi? Georgetown, Kentucky? Princeton, Indiana? Huntsville, Alabama? Who knows... :P

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Hey, it's always fun to speculate.  There doesn't seem to be rhyme nor reason to some of the locations for some of these transplants (other than low labor cost).  Jackson, Mississippi?  Georgetown, Kentucky?  Princeton, Indiana?  Huntsville, Alabama?  Who knows... :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The only common denominator that I can see is that they are all located on major transportation trunk lines. Unfortunately, that is one area that Metro Grand Rapids cannot compete on.

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Of course, there is also Flint. Remember that the Buick City site is all cleared, and ready for some infill. Buick City used to be a huge facility, among the largest of General Motors plants. A Toyota factory would be a good use for that land if it could locate there.

MrCoffee

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Honestly,

While a Toyota plant would be good for the economy in many ways, I would like to see us further diversify away from automotive manufacturing. Sometimes the growing pains hurt, but ultimately I think we need to get out from underneath this automotive crutch we have depended for so long...

Joe

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Honestly,

While a Toyota plant would be good for the economy in many ways, I would like to see us further diversify away from automotive manufacturing. Sometimes the growing pains hurt, but ultimately I think we need to get out from underneath this automotive crutch we have depended for so long...

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I absolutely agree, Joe. If there is an alternative to automotive manufacturing, then by all means that should be considered. Part of this nation's problems, though, stem from the trade deficit. We can't always expect to import from other countries, and not have something to export in return. I would be happy if even a medical equipment manufacturer took up residence on that site. Building houses or condos is out of the question, because of the speculative nature of that industry and risks involved. A Toyota plant on the former Buick City site would be worlds better than nothing at all.

MrCoffee

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