A Toyota made in Indiana is good for America.
Today Scott, John and I were interviewed by Brain, a Tokyo-based creative magazine. It’s hard to miss the irony of an agency dedicated to American manufacturing being approached by an Asian publication, and we had to laugh at the idea of Made blowing up in Japan. But soon after the interview began, the reporter asked us an interesting question: would we ever want to help a Japanese brand that made something in America? Our answer was a resounding YES.
There’s a reason other countries do everything they can to lure manufacturers to their shores. It’s called the multiplier effect (something we referenced in our last blog post). What it means, in short, is that manufacturing jobs generate almost twice as much money for an economy as service jobs. So when a company designs something in one place and manufactures it in another, the latter location gets roughly double the economic boost. In America’s case, it’s usually us designing things, and other countries enjoying the benefits of manufacturing them. But sometimes the reverse is true. My everyday vehicle is a 2003 Toyota Tundra. Though I had no idea when I bought it (in fact, I had no idea until I checked the door frame about 20 minutes ago), my Tundra was built in a factory in Princeton, Indiana. A factory that happens to employ 4,000 workers, all of whom contribute to the local, and national economy.
And, since R&D usually follows manufacturing (innovation of a product is inextricably tied to the making of the product itself), Toyota has established an R&D presence in Erlanger, Kentucky, closer to its US factories. That means jobs for American engineers, too, and a continuum in America’s ability to innovate.
We’re not saying everything in the world should be made here, but so little is, we’d be crazy not to support the things that are. And if Toyota wanted Made to work on the Tundra, hell yes, we’d jump at the chance.