Trade Show Has Resulted in Over $150 Million in New Contracts for Minority Suppliers Since 1990
ERLANGER, Ky. (November 10, 2009) – Earvin “Magic” Johnson, NBA legend and entrepreneur, was the featured keynote speaker at Toyota’s Opportunity Exchange at the Duke Energy Center in Downtown Cincinnati today.
Opportunity Exchange, one of the largest minority business events in the country, is designed to provide minority business enterprises (MBE’s) with the opportunity to network and develop valuable contacts with Toyota’s direct suppliers. To date, the event has resulted in over $150 million worth of new contracts for minority-owned businesses.
“From a business perspective, we believe diversity provides a path to our long-term business success,” said Tetsuo Agata, president and COO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. “Our commitment to diversity recognizes the importance of developing a supply team which reflects our customers and team members throughout North America.”
The event has grown from 100 guests to over 1,900 participants annually in the last 20 years. It has helped generate new business for MBE’s but it also continues to help direct suppliers diversify their own supply base.
Mr. Johnson is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magic Johnson Enterprises. Through strategic investments, partnerships and endorsements, Magic Johnson Enterprises provides products and services that particularly focus on ethnically diverse urban communities. Mr. Johnson is universally known for his 13 year career with the Los Angeles Lakers; culminating in his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Johnson is also Vice President and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.5 million vehicles in 2008. Toyota directly employs nearly 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 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 nearly $25 billion.
Toyota currently produces 12 vehicles in North America, including the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and the Lexus RX 350.
Contact: Tania Saldana (859) 815-9968