The 2020 Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris is pretty much all the car anyone needs, a small, pissed-off, 268-horsepower hatchback that I could not be more charmed by. That is, until I learned about the small charming factory in which it is made in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Toyota doesn’t know it yet but I’m moving in.
Here are some facts about the factory that I gleaned from a story in Automotive News today. Auto News says it is the “first international media outlet allowed to visit the new factory.”
- The factory is called the “GR Factory”
- Over 36 feet of glue and 250 spot welds are used to stiffen the Yaris’s body at the factory
- Some 314 workers work there, known as takumi or master craftsmen that were scouted and plucked from other Toyota factories for their skills
- There is no assembly line. Instead, cars are built in “work cells” where the craftsmen “handle multiple processes in quick succession more efficiently than on a mass-volume line” and the cars are “shuffled between stations by workers pulling them on dollies”
- The factory does not lose money
- While Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” played, Toyota President Akio Toyoda drove a GR Yaris through particleboard at a ceremony last week at the factory
- The factory will probably make a GR Corolla, which *may* actually come to the US, unlike the GR Yaris, because we don’t deserve it
And here is a sick hype video about the factory. The music is really key:
Please do not tell Toyota that I am moving into this factory to simply be among the GR Yarises and to live at a plant where tiny god cars are built. I promise I will not be too conspicuous and only drive a GR Yaris through particleboard while Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” plays just once a day, or possibly twice if the car is begging me too. Otherwise, I will just be sitting in a GR Yaris and absorbing its power while weeping for America.