Bloomberg News (2/9, Ohnsman, Higgins) reports Toyota Motor “will end production of Highlander sport-utility vehicles in Japan, consolidating assembly of the model in” a factory in Princeton, Indiana.

The Detroit Free Press (2/9, Snavely) reports, “The decision allows Toyota to expand its North American production of Highlander by 50,000 and export it to other countries, including Russia and Australia.”

The AP (2/9) reports, “Toyota says it will invest $400 million in the factory to build 50,000 more Highlanders per year. The plant built more than 101,000 Highlanders” in 2011. “After the changes, Toyota will be able to build about 255,000 Highlanders a year in Princeton and in China. The Princeton plant in southern Indiana now employs nearly 4,000 people who make Sienna minivans and the Highlander and Sequoia SUVs.”

AFP (2/9) reports, “The firm cited better US market conditions and a drive to produce cars where they are sold. Japanese auto firms have had a rough couple of years, battered by supply chain disruptions caused by Thailand’s floods and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. But they have also been hit by the record strength of the yen, which makes exports more expensive to foreign buyers.”

The Indianapolis Star (2/9) reports, “Production is expected to begin in late-2013, the Indiana Economic Development Commission said. Production will include a hybrid version. Indiana will provide Toyota up to $2.7 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on job creation plans.”

Cedarville Company Awarded New Automotive Technology Contract

By WKTV News

CEDARVILLE, N.Y. – Fermer Precision Inc. company officials announced that the Cedarville-based company has recently been awarded a contract from Wisconsin automotive die casting corporation, JL French Inc., to produce multiple prototypes of a newly-developed automotive components.

Fermer Precision, an ISO-TS 16949:2009 machining facility began machining the highly complex components, which utilize state-of-the-art high pressure aluminum die casting technologies developed by JL French for its automotive, marine, lawn & garden and industrial market segment customers last month, said company Executive Vice President Mark Cushman.

“Fermer is honored to have been selected by a world-leader like JL French to help them successfully launch this critically important program,” said Cushman.

JL French, an industry leader in the development and production of die cast aluminum components and assemblies, has advanced manufacturing facilities located in North America, Europe and Asia employing over 100 high pressure die cast machines, 200 machining centers and 2,000 employees.

Cushman went on to say that this program not only underscores Fermer’s strong reputation for machining components found worldwide on numerous high-volume automotive platforms, but serves to send a strong signal to other industries that “world-class manufacturing is very much alive, well and available from central New York companies like Fermer Precision.”

In July, 2011, Fermer became an affiliate of the Fiber Instrument Sales (FIS) family of premier companies. FIS, a leading manufacturer of communication fiber optic components, test equipment, tool kits and precision injection molded components, is head-quartered in Oriskany, NY. In total, the organization employs over 320 people locally, and exports to some 110 countries world-wide.

OSHA Targets Die Casters in Washington State

This week Washington State Dept of Labor & Industries launched an OSHA Primary Metal Inspection Program targeted at manufacturers. This piggy backs onto the program launched at the federal level by OSHA in May 2011 [OSHA Compliance Directive –] Basically, this is a wall-to-wall inspection program designed for the metals industry (SIC Code 33). Steel mills, smelters, and foundries have been the main focus at the national level. The federal OSHA NEP for Primary Metal did NOT target die casters.

The targeted industries being used in Washington state does include the die casting industry. Here is the link to the state directive –

NADCA offers a safety training online class at OR If you would like a refresher webinar on Safety for your employees and need safety training certification for their files, please contact Daniel Twarog at NADCA – to discuss.

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