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Toyota’s top U.S. sales exec sees more manufacturing in North America


August 8, 2012
By The Associated Press

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Toyota’s top U.S. sales executive sees his company hiring more people to build more cars in North America.

 Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., says it makes sense to build more models here because the yen is so strong against the dollar.

A strong yen cuts into the overseas earnings of Japanese automakers. It also makes it harder to sell Japanese-made products at cheaper prices.

Lentz says Toyota builds about 70 per cent of its North American models in the region. He sees that rising over time but gave no specifics. He says the decision on building more models here depends on the yen’s value and sales numbers.

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He says in the past 8 months, Toyota has announced 3,500 new jobs and $1.6 billion of investment in North America.