Toyota Celebrates 15 Years as Manufacturer in West Virginia

Employment grows to over 1,000; 8.6 million engines, transmissions built since inception


BUFFALO, W.Va. (October 14, 2011) -- In recognition of 15 years in Putnam County, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV) hosted a celebration at the plant today that featured team members, company executives, community leaders and state and local officials, including Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Buffalo Mayor Gary Tucker.
 
In 1996, TMMWV broke ground on its Buffalo plant site. Since then, employment has nearly quadrupled to over 1,000 at the facility which builds engines and transmissions for Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In that time, Toyota has invested $1.26 billion in the plant, which has produced over 8.6 million engines and transmissions.
 
“The reason we have expanded operations six times is due to the incredible work ethic of our team members,” said Yoji Suzuki, president, TMMWV. “Toyota as a company has shown great confidence in the Buffalo operation. Not only do we make world-class products, we have world-class team members.”
 
As part of the celebration, TMMWVA donated two $15,000 gifts – one each to the Buffalo Fire Department and the Eleanor Fire Department. Those gifts were the culmination of several other donations to area non-profit groups that totaled over $100,000 in giving over the past few months. (Also receiving recent gifts: Multifest Cultural Festival, $22,000; Marshall University, $32,000; City of Buffalo, $8,000; and the Putnam County Career & Technical Center, $10,000.)
 
“Toyota supports the communities where it does business, not only monetarily, but, also, through volunteer efforts by our team members,” said Mike Lutz, general manager, TMMWV. “Each year, our team members give over 10,000 hours of their time toward worthy causes in this area.”
 
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who was instrumental in bringing Toyota to West Virginia, said: “More than 20 years ago, the Toyota Buffalo plant was a dream in the middle of a cornfield. Today, after six expansions, $1.2 billion in investment and more than 1,000 jobs filled by the greatest work force in the country, that dream is realized. I am just so proud of this company, and the workers who’ve made it what you see today. Together with this tremendous community, all of us have watched this partnership blossom into a really unprecedented jobs-success story.”
In appreciation of TMMWV team members’ dedication to quality and productivity,
it was announced that a new walking trail will be constructed on the plant site. 
The one-mile trail will include six outdoor workout equipment stations. The trail will be completed late next month.

ABOUT TMMWV
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV), machines and assembles four-cylinder engines for the Toyota Corolla and Matrix; V6 engines for the Toyota Highlander, Sienna, Rav 4 and Lexus RX350; automatic transmissions for the Avalon, Camry, Venza, Sienna and Lexus RX350.
 
The facility, which now builds 800,000 engines and transmissions annually, has received the prestigious Harbour Award for seven consecutive years. The award recognizes productivity of powertrain plants in North America.

Media Contacts:
Sandy Maynard, TMMWV
Tel. 304.937.7403