Governor Mitch Daniels spent his first day of business in Tokyo meeting with the leaders of the major Japanese automakers, many of which have pumped additional resources into their Hoosier state manufacturing and assembly operations in the past year.
"Honda, Toyota and Subaru renewed their commitments to Indiana in a big way in the past 12 months and I enjoyed the opportunity to personally thank each company for the continued business on behalf of the thousands of Hoosiers employed by these firms," said Daniels.
The governor joined Mr. Takanobu Ito, president of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., for a meeting at the company's global headquarters to discuss Honda's Greensburg operations before touring the showroom.
During the afternoon the governor visited the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corporation and met with the company president, Mr. Akio Toyoda who happily informed Daniels that its Indiana operations are at full capacity.
This summer Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMMI), Indiana announced plans to add 32 full-time positions to its 4 million square-foot Princeton operations. In 2009 the company unveiled plans to invest $450 million to upgrade the southwestern Indiana facility for production of the Highlander sport utility vehicle and the 2011 Sienna minivan. Toyota's total investment in TMMI is $3.7 billion.
Following the meeting with Toyota, Daniels joined the leadership of Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, for dinner where the group discussed the success of the Lafayette production facility and the recently announced hiring plans. In September, Subaru of Indiana (SIA) reported plans to add 100 new positions in Lafayette because of increased demand for its new Outback and Legacy models.
Earlier this month, SIA was recognized by Decisive Media for running the "Greenest Manufacturing Plant in America." The Lafayette company operates the country's first zero-landfill automobile factory. Ninety-nine percent of the waste from the plant is recycled while the remaining 1 percent is converted into electricity.
Honda, Toyota and Subaru collectively employ thousands of Hoosiers and all three companies maintained or even grew their workforces during the worldwide economic recession.
Also today Governor Daniels traveled to Itochu Corporation's Tokyo headquarters to meet with company chairman, Eizo Kobayashi, who is featured in today's Asia edition of the Wall Street Journal.
During the meeting with the governor, Itochu, a $15 billion global trading company which is invested in THINK and EnerDel, outlined potential future partnerships with Indiana firms.
This meeting was a follow-up to Daniels' initial visit with the company during the 2009 Asia jobs mission and comes one year after Itochu's return trip to Indiana where the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the state to signify the exploration of Indiana business opportunities.
Today the governor also visited with Governor Tomikazu Fukuda of Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana's Japanese sister-state since 1999.
Daniels travels by train to Nagoya tomorrow where he will visit with current customers and thank them for their investments in the state.