2017 Toyota Motor North America Headquarters Grand Opening - Jim Lentz
July 07, 2017
As prepared for:
Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America
TMNA Headquarters Grand Opening
6565 Headquarters Drive, Plano, TX
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Thank you for joining us tonight.
I’d like to recognize from the White House, Assistant to the President and Director, Office of Public Liaison, George Sifakis, and Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Director, Office of Public Liaison, Steve Munisteri.
We appreciate President Trump’s continued support of Toyota, our investments in manufacturing, American jobs, and the future of the U.S. auto industry.
We’re also honored to be joined from the Consulate-General of Japan in Houston, Consul-General Amano, and from the
Embassy of Japan in the United States of America, Minister Suzuki.
Please also welcome several members of our Texas congressional delegation: Congressmen Sam Johnson, Pete Sessions, and Michael Burgess.
And thank you for your kind words, Governor Abbott and Mayor LaRosiliere.
Our company is also proud to welcome back a special guest from our parent company, Simon Nagata, whose leadership and guidance were instrumental in bringing our vision of this campus to fruition.
And we have a real Cowboy in the house, our friend Emmitt Smith.
Some of you may be wondering, how on earth did a company like Toyota end up in Texas?
Well, it all started with a conversation I had back in 2013 with our global president, Akio Toyoda.
We were discussing the market, how our region was performing. You know, typical business updates.
Then Akio reminded me of his global vision for this company. He wants Toyota to lead the way to the future of mobility and to enrich lives around the world.
Then he asked me: What is the one thing you need to change in order to sustain your business into the future?
I thought he meant for the next 3 – 5 years, but he actually meant for the next 50 years.
Later, I told him in order to be prepared for the future and better serve our customers, we needed to unify the teams from across affiliates.
With his full support, we devised a plan to move our headquarters offices in California, Kentucky and New York to Texas.
Additionally, we’d gather our direct procurement staff into one Toyota Technical Center near Ann Arbor, Michigan, and bring our production engineering team to Georgetown, Kentucky.
While not everyone will be in one location, these moves help us create one unified company – One Toyota.
This decision is helping us collaborate better, innovate faster, respond quickly to changes in the market, and most important, make more timely decisions in response to our customers.
And we’re definitely moving in the right direction.
So, tonight marks the culmination of three years of a lot of planning, hard work, dedication, and strong support from our business partners, key stakeholders, government officials, and of course, our team members.
And since we announced this new leg of our American journey, the state of Texas and all the surrounding communities have opened their arms to our company and team members.
Now, it’s our pleasure to return your hospitality and welcome you
to our new state-of-the-art home.
I'll never forget the day we held our groundbreaking ceremony on this site, which until then was a big, grassy field.
After the ceremony, it was still a big, grassy field, with a big pile of dirt and a sign that read, "Future Home of Toyota Motor North America."
It wasn’t easy to envision this beautiful campus right away.
Fortunately, we had great partners that were able to turn our vision into what you see today.
JLL, KDC, Corgan, Austin Commercial, and their talented teams showed up with their bulldozers and cranes, and Toyota’s vibrant future began to take root in North Texas.
Later tonight we’ll give you the “grand tour,” but first, let me share some highlights.
Toyota has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and preserving our natural resources, so we’re pursuing LEED Platinum Certification with:
• A solar panel installation, the state’s largest among non-utility companies, to generate more than 30 percent of our power;
• Throughout the campus, greenspaces like our central courtyard reflect North Texas habitats to enhance the site’s biodiversity;
• Drought-tolerant, indigenous plants;
• And we can capture 400-thousand gallons of rainwater for landscaping.
Now, when you’re on the tour, take a look at the local building materials, like more than1200 tons of world-famous Lueders limestone.
And I hope you had a chance to check out the cars in the main lobby, especially the 2000 GT.
Fifty years ago, James Bond out-ran the bad guys in a GT just like it, although our model doesn’t have the James Bond gadgets.
Believe me, I looked.
Our team members from across the country, from around the world, and our many new hires from right here in North Texas are moving in every week, and they’re excited about the amenities in their new work home, including:
• The new open work-space environment, which encourages greater communication and sharing of ideas;
• Plus an array of dining options, a fitness center, pharmacy, and even a rock-climbing wall!
Sixty years ago, we began our American journey with just one dealership, and today, our passion for emotional design, manufacturing leadership and innovation are woven into the rich history of our nation’s culture.
As we set our sights on the future, we want to work with you to make Texas and Toyota a global epicenter of mobility.
The good news is, we’re already on our way.
Our North American Toyota team members are working together to strengthen our research and development efforts in:
• Autonomous safety components
• Connected vehicle technologies
• Electric and fuel cell powertrains
• Technology for human support
• And traffic telematics to help cities run more efficiently.
Our team members will devote their talents and passions to help build a fully-integrated mobility company, bringing mobility opportunities to more people around the world.
As you’ll see, our new headquarters is proof that a few thousand people -- with a lot of heavy equipment -- can dream and build something remarkable.
Yet one of my favorite things on this campus isn’t crafted from glass, metal, or limestone.
It’s the shady oak tree which greets us at the Legacy campus entrance.
This “heritage oak” could be over 100 years old, so its roots run deep in our Texas soil.
Though we saved and planted nearly1300 trees on site, this oak will stand out front as a symbol of Toyota’s opportunities for growth. We’ll nurture our company’s roots, and together we can grow and thrive in Texas and throughout North America.
Thank you for joining us tonight, and please come back to visit anytime.
Our door is always open to you.
OK, now we have an exciting announcement. To help Toyota achieve its mission of improving lives and communities, we’ve built long-lasting relationships with many non-profits including Boys and Girls Clubs and the Girl Scouts.
And three years ago at the same time we started building this campus, we also developed partnerships with Texas organizations, so we could make
a measurable impact together.
Some of these partnerships included grants to:
• The Plano ISD Academy High School and its’ STEAM-focused curriculum;
• DART, to improve mobility for the elderly and handicapped;
• “On the Road Lending,” to extend mobility to underserved communities;
• The Texas Rangers Foundation Youth Academy, to provide new educational opportunities for the kids and families of West Dallas;
• And lending our Toyota Production System know-how to the North Texas Food Bank’s operations.
And tonight, we’re going to announce the winners of the $1 million dollar Toyota Impact Grant that will enable innovative mobility solutions to solve local issues.
Please join me in welcoming my friend Mike Groff, President of Toyota Financial Services, to tell you all about the grant, its impact on our communities, and to reveal our winners.