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New Plant, New Workforce, New Record

Among the various nuggets in the 2004 rendition of the Harbour Report is this: Toyota's West Virginia engine plant, which builds overhead cam four- and six-cylinder engines, is the most productive engine plant in North America.

Among the various nuggets in the 2004 rendition of the Harbour Report is this: Toyota's West Virginia engine plant, which builds overhead cam four- and six-cylinder engines, is the most productive engine plant in North America. At 1.94 hours per engine, the West Virginia plant ranks ahead of Toyota's own Georgetown, KY, plant (2.37 hours/engine) and GM's Tonawanda, NY, facility (2.40 hours/engine) in four-cylinder production, and is the first plant ever to break the two-hour barrier. It also ranks atop the overhead cam six-cylinder labor productivity charts at 3.34 hours/engine.

"What's remarkable about this," says Ron Harbour, president of Harbour Consulting, "is that this facility was built in the middle of nowhere, opened almost three years ago with a 'green' workforce, and is out-producing every other engine plant in the country." This doesn't mean the rest of the Toyota plants were falling down on the job. Harbour says that, despite an increase in the number of six-cylinder engines Toyota builds in North America, its composite four-and six-cylinder labor productivity number has risen only slightly, from 2.79 hours/engine in 1999 to 2.82 hours/engine in 2003. During that same period, Honda's rose from 3.05 in 1999 to 3.26 in 2003, while GM's fell from 5.26 to 3.21.