Lost in the current debate about “offshoring” is the remarkable story of the “onshoring” of fuel-efficiency manufacturing. Thanks in large part to stronger standards, American drivers no longer have to buy foreign if they want to trade in their gas guzzler for gas sippers. Fuel-efficiency is driving sales and jobs growth in the auto industry. And as demand grows, so does the business case to make fuel efficient cars and components in America.
Hybrid productions exemplify this trend. With U.S. hybrid sales booming (up 63% this year), Toyota and Honda are bringing production to the U.S. Most recently, Honda Motor Co. plans to invest $40 million and bring all global Civic Hybrid manufacturing to its Greensburg, Indiana manufacturing plant from Japan, creating 300 jobs by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced it would bring production of its Highlander mid-size SUV, including the Highlander Hybrid, to its Princeton, Indiana plant from its current plant in Japan. The move to expand capacity represents an investment of $400 million and will add another 400 jobs. Furthermore, Toyota plans to begin producing the Prius hybrid in the U.S. by 2015, bringing production inshore from Japan to a yet-to-be specified plant.