October 1, 2007 – Erlanger, KY - Toyota announced today that it has awarded its third local construction contract for its new Highlander vehicle assembly plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi.
West Brothers Construction, based in Columbus, Lowndes County, has formed a joint venture with Livonia, Michigan-based Aristeo Construction for the foundation project for the plant’s assembly and body weld buildings. Work for this project will begin in October. West Brothers Construction employs 50 people in the state of Mississippi.
"Many Mississippi companies are actively bidding with outstanding contractors to secure work on our new vehicle assembly plant," said Jeff Caldwell, Assistant General Manager of Production Engineering at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. "Their willingness to form partnerships is encouraging to Toyota and solidifies our commitment to doing business with local companies on this project."
Site preparation will continue into this fall and Toyota will select general contractors for the project through November. At peak construction in summer 2008, approximately 2,000 workers will be on site and the majority of them will be from the local area.
In February, Toyota announced that it had chosen a 1,700-acre site in Blue Springs to build 150,000 Toyota Highlander SUVs annually. The new plant represents a $1.3 billion investment by Toyota that is expected to hire around 2,000 team members. Vehicle production is scheduled to start by 2010. The plant will be named Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. (TMMMS).
Contractors, subcontractors and vendors interested in doing business at TMMMS can visit www.ToyotaSupplier.com.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and will operate 15 manufacturing plants in North America by 2010. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2006. Toyota directly employs over 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18.6 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $28.5 billion.
Toyota currently produces 11 vehicles in North America, including the Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Matrix, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra and the Lexus RX 350. By 2010, Toyota will have the annual capacity to build approximately 2.2 million cars and trucks, 1.45 million engines and 600,000 automatic transmissions. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.