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New cars weigh about 2,000 to 6,000 pounds and have many parts and cutting-edge technology. Purchasing each part and shipping it to automotive plants alone can take days. So, how long does it take auto giants like Toyota to make a car?

Here’s how long Toyota takes to build a car

How long does it take Toyota to make a car?
Toyota West Virginia (TMMWV) group leader | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

It takes Toyota a little over 21 hours to build an average car from scratch. That number doesn’t include the initial design and development phase, though that’s a crucial step in the process. However, designing a brand-new vehicle can take years because of several factors. The project might be delayed or halted due to changing consumer behavior, problems securing parts, or a lack of resources. 

Once the building process begins, rolling the car off the production line could take only 18 hours, Car Care Portal reports. That assumes the assembly plant is working at full capacity and the car is a base model without add-ons. Higher trim levels with premium paint colors, accessories, and other options take longer to produce. 

What is the typical process for building a car?

Most Toyota cars have about 30,000 parts that need assembling. All must be inspected for quality before they even arrive at the factory. The build process begins with the shaping and stamping of the body panels. Then, robots assemble the panels around the vehicle’s frame.

The car then proceeds along the production line, where the various parts are securely attached. The painting process comes next, along with applying chemical formulas to preserve the car’s exterior color. Once the paint dries, workers temporarily remove the doors so they can install the interior components by hand. After that step, the vehicle’s tires and mechanical inner workings are installed.

Now that the car can stand adequately, its structure and engine performance can be inspected. Factory workers also confirm the electrical components and technology features to function correctly. After passing this check, the car is shipped to a dealership or consumer. 

What’s the average time it takes other automakers to build a car?

Some automakers might impose additional quality checks on the assembly line, particularly for exotic cars. Still, all automotive factories follow the same basic building process. JVIS USA says plants might take 18 to 35 hours to manufacture a single car. 

According to Axle Addict, Toyota might take only 11 hours to produce a RAV4 base model with the standard equipment. However, 17 to 18 hours is the average timeframe for building a vehicle with moderate customization.  

Toyota might spend slightly more time building its cars, but the results typically yield excellent products. This is proven by the upscale interior designs and top-notch build quality in models like the top-selling Toyota Corolla. This compact car is also massively popular worldwide, so buyers see the value of meticulous construction. Even a “bare-bones” Toyota has plenty of tech features, and more technology means more time in the inspection process. 

Most important, a commitment to better build quality means most Toyota cars are reliable. Many of them have proven lifespans approaching 300,000 miles with proper maintenance. And because Toyota cars are built solid, owners won’t have to spend as much on repairs. Every minute spent building a Toyota makes the vehicle safer and more satisfying.