At a ceremony today with the local community, Toyota broke ground on the future site of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. (TMMMS), its eighth vehicle manufacturing plant in North America.
Production at the $1.3 billion plant is scheduled to begin by 2010 with 2,000 team members that will produce the Toyota Highlander SUV; annual vehicle capacity will be 150,000 units. Once production begins at TMMMS, Toyota will have the capacity to produce approximately 2.2 million cars and trucks annually in North America.
Attending the ceremony were Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Toyota Motor Corporation president Katsuaki Watanabe. They congratulated the community for its hard work and commitment to bringing Toyota to the state.
"Today's groundbreaking actually puts this project ahead of schedule and we intend to keep it that way," said Governor Barbour. "We want Toyota to see Mississippi as the best partner they've ever had."
"Our goal is to make a positive contribution to the community while beginning a new partnership with local citizens," said Watanabe. "We will make every effort to be the best business partner in Mississippi and thank Governor Barbour and all citizens for their warm welcome."
U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Trent Lott and Congressman Roger Wicker expressed their appreciation to the community and to Toyota via a taped message.
Excavation at the Blue Springs site began in March and site preparation will begin in May. It is expected that 2,000 construction workers will be on-site during peak of construction in summer 2008. Most of these construction workers will be hired locally.
Toyota's goal is to spend 15 percent of TMMMS' construction budget with local minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs).
Contractors, subcontractors and vendors interested in doing business at TMMMS can visit www.ToyotaSupplier.com for further information.
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.