Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi gathered today in Blue Springs to celebrate the production of the first Toyota Corolla manufactured in Mississippi for export to customers in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
This year, TMMMS will export more than 7,500 Mississippi-built Corollas, the world's best-selling vehicle of all time, to 18 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Last summer, Toyota sold its 40 millionth Corolla worldwide.
"Since 2011, Mississippians have been successfully producing Toyota's best-selling model, the Corolla, for the U.S. market. Today, Toyota once again puts Mississippi on the world's stage with the rollout of the first export vehicle manufactured at the Blue Springs facility," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "This new export opportunity further strengthens Mississippi's growing automotive industry and position in the Southern Automotive Corridor, while also demonstrating to the world that Mississippi has the talented workforce needed to build top-quality vehicles."
"Now our loyal customers in Central and South America and the Caribbean will experience Toyota Mississippi's commitment to safety and high-quality," said Masafumi Hamaguchi, president of Toyota Mississippi. "The export of Mississippi-built Corollas directly supports 2,000 Toyota jobs, keeps our plant running at optimal capacity and increases opportunities for our suppliers and partners while serving our customers' needs."
Toyota's exports in 2013 totaled more than 130,000 units--a five percent increase from the previous year--and represented an all-time high for the company. Toyota, which began exporting U.S.-assembled vehicles in 1988, expects that its volume of exports will grow as the company capitalizes on the improving North American and global automotive markets.
"Today is a great day for north Mississippi and the entire state as Toyota once again puts its Blue Springs facility and quality workforce in the global spotlight," said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen. "Mississippi exports numerous products that are grown or manufactured in the state to international markets, and today we are proud to add the Toyota Corolla to that list. We congratulate Toyota Mississippi and its employees on this milestone event."
Toyota Mississippi directly employs 2,000 and represents an $800 million investment. Since November 2011, Toyota has announced 11 new investments in North America totaling $2.1 billion into its manufacturing facilities, increasing employment by 4,000.