December 6, 2007 – Princeton, IN - Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) broke ground for its Visitors Center Thursday. Major construction of the Visitors Center begins in January, with the anticipated opening in late 2008.
The architectural and engineering design team is CK United and Hafer Associates, both of Evansville. The exhibit designer is RhodesWorks, of Champaign, Ill., and the construction team is CK United and Peyronnin Construction Company, also both of Evansville. The 16,000-square-foot facility will be located south of the TMMI Administration Building. The Visitors Center will host various exhibits, including regional automobile manufacturing and Toyota histories, Toyota Production System (TPS), TMMI production processes, Sales and Motor Sports. TMMI is honored to present a Toyoda Type-G Automatic Loom from 1926 in the history area. The loom was invented by Sakichi Toyoda, father of Kiichiro Toyota, founder of Toyota Motor Corporation, and will be donated by Toyota Industries in Aichi, Japan. This is the second Type-G Automatic Loom that will be exhibited outside Japan. In the Toyota Production System area, visitors will learn the principals of TPS through interactive audio and panel displays. There will be seven sections in the TMMI production gallery including Just-in-Time, Stamping, Body Weld, Paint, Plastics, Assembly and Environment. At each section, visitors will learn the processes and how TMMI applies TPS to everyday operations. In the Sales and Motor Sports area visitors will find information on various Toyota vehicles and photos and artifacts from Toyota Motor Sports. The Visitors Center will offer a video presentation and public plant tours at no charge.
"This Visitors Center, once built, will provide an opportunity the public has eagerly awaited. Other than participants in our student tour program, occasional government and business visitors and team member families, few have toured our plant and seen what we do here," said Shaun Koyama, President of TMMI.
TMMI began production in Princeton, Ind., in 1998. Today, TMMI employs about 4,700 team members from the Tri-State. Within the 4-million-square-foot automotive facility, team members produce the Tundra pickup truck, Sequoia sport utility vehicle and the Sienna minivan. TMMI has donated more than $11 million since 1996 to the local community in areas of youth and education, health and human services, diversity, environment, civic and community and arts and culture.