Tahara Assembly Plant Japan Tour – Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser

Tahara Assembly Plant Japan Tour – Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser


hey if your 4Runner fan and you love
to see how things get built or you just like my stuff get built you don’t wanna
watch this video I’m in Tahera Japan where we go to the forward a production
facility here in the assembly plant I’m gonna tell you all about it coming up
right now it’s Tim Esterdahl, pickup truck plus SUV
talk, and my passion is trucks and suv’s and this is gonna be a really cool video
so what we’re gonna do is I can’t take video inside the assembly plant no boy
no but what I can do is I can put up photos I’m gonna take up some photos and
talk you through what’s gonna go in on the screen we’ll talk more about the
city plan the Tahara plant is about 90 minutes southeast of Nagoya and Nagoya
is about 30 minutes outside of Toyota city
totus city is the headquarters of Toyota globally and so you’re about an hour
south eastern hour-and-a-half southeast from that location what’s interesting
about Tijeras it’s not along Peninsula and Sentra it’s a rural country town
that has the most produce and flower production in the entire Japan another
interesting fact about it was that the PR reps that we rode with down to Tahara
had never actually been there even though it’s only 90 minutes away
interestingly in Japan they don’t drive as much as we do United States and so
they just don’t make that journey and they told me nobody had ever asked to go
to Tahara with them because it’s such a long distance away
incredibly when we arrived they let out a big sigh relief that we had made the
journey I kind of thought this was funny because it wasn’t that long of a journey
anyways I digress as you can see by this panoramic view of
the assembly plant area there are several shops on site there are two body
shops there’s a body and painting shop there’s assembly shop there’s two
machining shops two casting shops so quite literally after the raw materials
get to the main assembly plant area they’ll build a car from scratch and
ship it out from that same place another interesting fact about this panoramic
view is the area you’re looking at has all been reclaimed now I was with a
translator and I had to ask for what she meant by reclaimed because it really
shocked me that she would use that word like I’m wondering if it’s a nuclear
facility been reclaimed or you know what what the thinking here is and she
literally said they reclaimed it from the ocean they brought in trucks full of
dirt and they built the whole peninsula there to build a simple plan on top of
that and you’ll notice and I was soo min on this in the right hand corner they
have it that the way they build that corner of this semi plant is they allow
ships to be docked right there and so it’s a pretty incredible assembly plant
in that there’s no rail head there’s no railroad setting stuff off like we have
in the United States you’re not shipping them out on big cargo trailers nope
you’re putting them right into the cargo ship let’s talk a little bit more about
that in a little bit another interesting fact about this to Harrop plant is that
it has on site at heliport there’s a helicopter stationed right there and the
helicopter can travel the modem ochi hack tree in the head office in 15
minutes and Higashi fuji research facility institute and 45 minutes
excuse-me institute the idea there is if you’re anybody in this plant and this is
what they told me and you have a direct issue that you need to have resolved
right away you can board this helicopter and you can fly to those places and get
it resolved I thought that was pretty incredible
inside the now I wasn’t able to take any video inside the plant but I was able to
take a lot of photos and so I did and so we’re gonna kind of go through these
photos and kind of explain to you what I had saw and what they told me
as I did my tour and so I toured a number one assembly shop this opening 17
1979 it built the hilux the floor area of 66 thousand metric squared almost
1500 employees running two shifts production output was 931 vehicles per
day with attack time of 60 seconds that means when they start to stop they build
well these vehicles every 60 seconds model produced like I said was a
forerunner land cruiser prado GX 460 and the Land Cruiser a lot of focus on where
they’re trying to improve in the in the plant and like most of the plants
they’re always trying for more quality they’re always trying for a better
working environment and trying to ease the operation and they have this
doorless assembly method that that my interpret I took a little bit my
interpreter made a big point about this and the tour guide was really talking a
lot about it and basically they put the doors on last and most plants have done
this just so it’s interesting they have a video showing you know beginning to
end so they bring the frame in and then they just start putting all the pieces
together and it’s a body-on-frame construction so they’ll put the cabin
and the doors but now it’s a body-on-frame construction so they’ll
start with a frame they’ll lower the components on top of it and they’ll bolt
them down it is pretty interesting to see the different photos and how the
vehicles are sent in there the bodies are preassembled and so that’s why the
fact times 60 seconds and so they’re able just to take the body put it on the
frame and start adding all the accessories inside the cabin now
assembly is pretty much like any other place they use a lot of robots in this
photo here I’m showing you they’re installing the – and what they’ll do is
they will put down some protective coatings and you can see that the
protective Blues and they’ll put the – in in a one-piece the robot moves it
over and it’ll put it inside the vehicle and then he will go in and secure it in
a few spots you now they need to notice is towards the
end of these photos and I’ll show you on the screen is there’s a lot of guys with
white shirts on that are checking the vehicles this is the final inspection
line process this is it where the vehicles get sent out and these guys are
from the Ministry of Land infrastructure transport and tourism they are
government employees whose job it is to look over vehicles for quality inside
the plant itself and they can pull vehicles off and have Toto go back and
rebuild them or adjust for quality issues now Toto’s PR team Mahwah is
their describe to me this is basically like our DMV they look for problems with
it and safety and make sure that the vehicle is ready for the road I don’t
agree this is quite the process and these guys go through it so much more
detailed than our DMV would and they really look for a lot of quality issues
and this is what makes Japanese manufacturing be such a hot topic United
States and on forums and replaces you go for different toyota vehicles is that
the inspection process by the Japanese inspectors is believed to create a more
quality product than what can be built in American facilities that’s the
conversation out there I am NOT gonna weigh in and what side I feel on that
but it’s a very interesting conversation to have
after the cars are built and they get through the quality check station they
move outside what’s interesting about the exterior is we do have that test
track and every Lexus vehicle that toda builds at tahara gets driven around the
track by another quality inspector interestingly one of every five total
vehicles gets test driven but every Lexus vehicles test driven another thing
that’s interesting of the exterior as you could see by those photos is that it
the docks are right there on the assembly plant land itself and so you
can see the way they built that so they could have the the ocean-going vessels
lined right up and they load these right there so they have a big parking lot and
they have crews that go out and they drive these cars on this vessel all day
long they work eight-hour shifts they drive them up a ramp into the into the
vessel they Park them they get on the bus bus kasumi bus comes by picks them
up they go back to pick up more cars to go back and forth it’s also interesting
that other automakers ship out there as well
I saw some VW products I saw some Honda products that go out of Tahara and so
it’s a major shipping destination – it takes a week for them to ship across to
California and it takes four weeks to go along the East Coast United States and
so these ships are continuously in motion they show up for and the crews
get a couple days off they load the ship they get back on and the ship goes back
on the ocean to sail off wherever it’s heading
another interesting part of Japan that I want to talk about is how much of a
manufacturing giant the whole island is Japan is one of those places that has a
enormous amount of ground that’s inhabitable you can’t live on it there’s
either volcanic rocks down south that make it really hard to live on or
there’s mountainous regions to the north and so they don’t have a lot of large
landmass but they really utilize it I took the bullet train Nagoya
to Yokohama and it’s just interesting to see how many plants there are and how
many energy plants there are but the other interesting part as well is that
Japan has no natural resources everything gets shipped in
so they bring in all the raw materials and they build them all in the plant
stand they ship them back out hey thanks for watching make sure if you
like your hearing like what you’re seeing hit subscribe Bella fication
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again thanks for watching I’ll see you down the road

100 thoughts on “Tahara Assembly Plant Japan Tour – Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser

  1. That is really strange that some of the best buit vehicles come from a country that has none of the natural resources to build anything!!?

  2. Don't forget to check out our interview with Toyota truck's chief engineer Mike Sweers from Japan as well. https://youtu.be/YppBqPCbwqc

  3. What was your total time spent inside the manufacturing plant? Did you notice anything that was totally different than US manufacturing plants?(other than the final inspection people)

  4. It would be interesting to see if there's any correlation between the inspection process of the quality of the 4Runner being higher than Tacoma. Tacoma being made here and 4Runner made there. It's pretty much the same vehicle.

    The only thing is the Tundra is made here and it's QDR is higher than Tacoma since 2016.

    I've heard that the 4.0 v-6 is coming back soon. Any truth to that, Tim?

  5. Very interesting facts about final inspection and that every Lexus gets driven and every fifth 4Runner.

    I wonder if final inspection is the same with other models at other plants in japan.

  6. Now that was pretty cool to see! To build the facility like that right there with the loading dock right there on site 👍 good video

  7. You look at video of an American Car Mfgr Plant and you see some bored looking dude slouched over wearing a Nascar t shirt talking to another employee just looking miserable and distracted. And they wear no job uniform just street clothes…..

  8. It’s why I love my 4th Gen 4Runner and my 2Gen Lexus GS430 both proudly made from that famous Tahara plant. The LS, GS are also assembled there as well. There’s a night a day difference I’m sorry to say the way Japanese assembled Toyota’s are versus US ones.

  9. @4:10, the models produced at this site are 4Runners, LandCruiser Prado, GX460 & LandCruiser. The fact that these vehicles are manufactured at the same location, does this means these 4 vehicles share the same fundamental structure (aka, same platform) and key body components?
    When I googled, the world renounced LandCruiser Prado is not sold in US. But here, we have GX460 instead. And Lexus GX460 is in fact Toyota LandCruiser Prado. Is this true?
    Does it also mean 4Runner is also related to LandCruiser Prado?
    I am interested in the AWD aspect (and the transfer case) of these vehicles.
    It is also interesting to know the last model update of 4Runner, LandCruiser & GX460 were way back in 2008(?) and rumor has it, they all are going to have a mild model refresh in 2021(2022?). This leads me to think these vehicles are all the same other than the sheet metal and shapes.

  10. My old 1980 FJ-40 Land Cruiser also came from Japan.Top notch quality, something that the big three have'nt learn yet!!!

  11. Very nice video, thank you. I have owned land cruisers, gx460s and one prado. All great vehicles, was always interested in seeing their point of origin.

  12. Interesting to know some of these cars people would buy them and probably keep them for decades, put their family in them and become emotionally attached to them, and Toyota just makes them in like 60 seconds lol

  13. what a brilliant production set up, probably smartest on the planet, thanks for the tour! no wonder Runner and Cruiser are bulletproof…

  14. Excellent video. First look I've seen so far on the Internet into the 4Runner manufacturing plant. Good work!

  15. One vehicle is not assembled in 60 seconds start to finish. It’s that once one vehicle makes through the process and comes off the end of the line, another one has been following right Behind it and completes 60 seconds later. So, once a line starts completing builds, THEN every 60 seconds, another one is completed and coming off the line.

  16. Let’s try it again: Toyota’s North American built quality doesn’t quite match up well with its Japanese built quality.

  17. 4runners & Land cruiser are the way to go.if I want to drive Japanese vehicles I want it to be made in Japan and nowhere else

  18. I bought a 2015 4Runner limited and I got rid of it. Ride quality sucks. It tracks left to right constantly, the steering wheel vibrates constantly from engine & road. You feel like you can’t take corners well. If you buy remote start the engine shuts off when you open the door. (Lame Japanese safety feature).
    Overall not designed or engineered well. Seats are too tight. Not a comfortable vehicle to drive. My daughters 2000 4runner has no steering wheel vibration and doesn’t track left to right. Took it back to dealer and they said it was normal. Test drove other models the same year and they all do it. First new Toyota product for me and I was not impressed at all. Don’t get me started on the paper oil filters.
    I know that Toyotas last for ever and ever…but who would want to drive a tank forever? Also newer Tacomas have steering wheel vibration but only when accelerating and so does the Tundra. Not sure why Toyota would let this defect roll off the assembly line but they do. I had an old 2002 Chevy cargo van that didn’t have any vibration in the wheel. It’s not a shimmy…it’s like when you ride an old dirt bike. After a long trip our hands would kinda hurt from the constant vibration. It was ok to drive around town but definitely not a good road trip vehicle.

  19. It would be nice if you could make a video to compare an assembly plant from Ford, GM or FCA in the U.S and it's employees to this plant in Japan and it's employees to show the differences and nitpick the pros and the cons of the assembly and manufacturing process and employee conduct and productivity

  20. Since this video is most up-to-dated, the rumor about the redesigned 2020 4Runner that might come out this fall of 2019 is now NOT REAL. They are still working on the existing 4Runners in production. Can't wait any longer, might go for Mazda CX-9 instead.

  21. Neat video, I knew the USDM 4Runner was made in Japan. What I didn't know is that its made in the same plant/assembly line as the big daddy $85,000 200 series Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser 200 is Toyota's flagship, their best made, most durable truck they make, designed for a 500,000 mile/20 year lifespan. Glad to know that the same people screw together your $40,000 4Runner.

    Also this plant should undergo a HUGE retooling late this year or next year. New king daddy Land Cruiser is coming. Kind of wondering if we will get a new Prado/Lexus GX and 4Runner at the same time(Prado/Lexus GX is the same truck, 4 Runner is the same platform but smaller)

  22. This plant seems to be very similar to what Ford's River Rouge complex once was, except for the lack of rail service.

  23. I wish you could tell them to make a 4runner one that doesn't burn so much gas or electric from a 94 4runner💖 owner that won't buy/part till they burn less.

  24. Great!!! I've been wanting to see that plant for years. My 2011 Toyota 4Runner IS the best vehicle I've ever owned. My first Toyota was a early 70s Corona with the four headlights. I'm 70 years old and I've owned and driven a lot of vehicles in my time. Keep up the great work! Thank you.

  25. Awesome photo tour of the plant! The Japanese are very detailed oriented people and makes existing products better! From electronics to Automotive are better in Japan! Once out sourcing occurred to cut cost was their down fall. Toyota's in Japan are built with the best quality available, where Toyota's built in North America can be a hit and miss, depending on the type of parts used on the vehicle.

  26. T4Rs are amazing. My 3rd Gen SR5 has 350k miles (same engine, tranny & diffs), no leaks, no rust, cold a/c, excellent daily driver – runs flawlessly – just stay on top of your maintenance as with any vehicle.

  27. My 2000 4 runner is a gemMy 2016 Tundra not so.. obviously compromised by US union interference and greed.That will be my last US made Toyota, I guarantee that.

  28. My Jeep was built in Ohio … I’m good. Toyota keeps pushing the same tired tech & relies on reliability stereotypes. 4Runner is a fugly design & underpowered.

  29. Sold a 2002 Sequoia Limited with 112K miles and currently own a 1997 4Runner Limited 230K miles, 2012 GX460 142k miles, 2013 Highlander Hybrid Limited 145k miles, and a 2018 LX570 9,000 miles. I've seen how Toyotas are abused overseas in developing countries and they just keep working with minimal maintenance. Toyotas and Lexus' Stateside are pampered compared to how they are driven overseas. Thank You for this video! Maybe a US tour of Indiana and Texas plants would be in order?

  30. For some reason I love the fact that these are still imported from Japan. Really gives it a nice "cool factor" along side being just an awesome SUV. Love my 19 T4R TDR OR!

  31. Excellent educational videos about 4Runners, Toyota trucks and Lexus manufacturing from scratch to excellence in quality and engineering. Thanks a lot.
    Sincerely Babur Ejaz

  32. Japanese people dont car how the massproduction is they dont care hiw the car looks but they are 100% into quality

  33. I own a 2010 4 Runner cool to know where it's built , interesting I was in the USMC stationed at Okinawa in 1959 35mm cameras were selling for $ 35 complete Ham radio set $ 50 many Japanese bargains that were quality and innovative . In the 1990's I sold Japanese transistors to both commercial and military marketplace the Japanese top mounted circuit board stuff were 7 years ahead of anything we produced and had a waiting list of 2 years now that's innovation !

  34. So I'm a little confused. Is Toyota making the engines for these in Japan as well for these models, or are they getting them shipped in from America and then resjipping the landcruiser with the American made engine back to America.

  35. Very dissatisfied with my 2016 4runner Limited 4wd. Both front bumper brackets are broken. Uneven front tire wear from side to side. Differential clunk when putting in drive. Rusting underneath already at 31k miles. Transmission slips going uphill. This vehicle has never been used to tow or been off road. Toyota is not what is used to be

  36. I own a 2016 Toyota 4runner and No video exists like this about the 4runner assembly. very interesting. You have found a white space in Pickup/SUV information on youtube. Keep up the good work. Your videos are interesting/insightful. and very well thought out. I hope your Channel gets the viewers it deserves. If you come across any Future Toyota 4runner/tundra information please pass it on. Also no one has seen the updated infotainment system in the 2020 Toyota 4runner yet. I'm wondering along with all the other 4runner owners how they got a bigger screen into the 4runner. Thanks for your channel!

  37. Worked at the gm plant for years. When a flaw happens, “JUST ROLL IT THROUGH!” In the USA it’s all just sales numbers now and how much they can push out. Once upon a time it wasn’t like that at all. It’s nice to see Japan actually put quality control in their vehicles.

  38. I'm thinking about buying a Lexus IS (3rd gen, or 4th gen) and it's made at the Tahara plant! If I do, I hope to visit this plant one day for a tour and see how the cars are made. I could literally spend all day in such a plant and never get bored.

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