July 30, 2002
Toyota produces ten millionth vehicle in North America
Toronto, Ontario – The ten millionth vehicle produced in North America rolled off the assembly line in Kentucky on Monday. The vehicle, a 2002 Camry, immediately joined a convoy of vehicles from each of Toyota’s North American manufacturing plants and travelled to Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America (TMMNA) headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky. There, representatives from Toyota’s manufacturing facilities took part in a ceremony with special guest Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and a pioneer of quality control in automotive manufacturing.
In Canada, the milestone was celebrated at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC), in Cambridge, Ontario, and at Canadian Autoparts Toyota Inc. (CAPTIN) in Delta, British Columbia, Toyota’s wheel manufacturing facility. To commemorate the occasion, Toyota Canada Inc., Toyota Credit Canada Inc., TMMC and CAPTIN jointly donated a total of six new Sienna minivans to local non-profit organizations.
“This is an extraordinary milestone, and one that could not have been achieved without the dedication of our associates, team members, suppliers and dealers, as well the growing number of satisfied customers who have made Toyota vehicles a part of their lives,” said Kenji Tomikawa, President of TCI. “With essential contributions from all these partners, Toyota has created a range of vehicles and an ownership experience that customers consistently rate the best in the industry. It’s the reason more Toyotas are sold in North America than anywhere else in the world.”
Toyota has achieved record-shattering sales in recent months, which resulted in a best-ever first half in both the United States and Canada. Toyota has four vehicle assembly plants and five parts and materials plants in North America. By 2003, Toyota will employ approximately 33,000 people and have made a direct investment of over US$13 billion in its North American operations.
Canada’s contributions to Toyota’s success in North America are significant. Since the first Corolla rolled off the TMMC production line in Cambridge, Ontario in 1988, the plant has built over 1.5 million vehicles for markets in Canada, the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and become an industry standard-bearer for manufacturing excellence.
- Between 1991 (the first year it was eligible) and the present, TMMC has won seven J.D. Power and Associates awards for Plant Quality.
- In 1999, the Harbour Report named TMMC the most efficient car assembly plant in North America.
- Internally, TMMC’s achievements were recognized when it was selected as the first Lexus production facility outside Japan, to build the Lexus RX 300 starting in 2003.
- The TMMC-made Corolla has been selected three times by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada as the Best Vehicle Built in Canada, and was recently named Best Compact Car in the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Initial Quality Study.
The 250,000 square metre (2.8 million square foot) facility is currently undergoing a Cdn$650 million expansion to accommodate production of the Lexus RX 300. On completion, it is estimated that TMMC will have an annual production capacity of 220,000 vehicles and 150,000 engines. Total investment at that time will exceed Cdn$2.57 billion.
“In a quality-driven company like Toyota, to be the best is an outstanding accomplishment and our Canadian work force has proved beyond a doubt that it’s world class,” said Ray Tanguay, President of TMMC. “Everyone at TMMC is crucial to our success and I thank each of them for their efforts to ensure the exceptional quality of the vehicles we make and the excellence of our manufacturing processes. I must also say that none of this would be possible without the help and cooperation of our Canadian suppliers, who provide superior products and service every single day.”
In honour of the occasion, Tanguay and Tomikawa presented new Sienna minivans to the Hospice of Waterloo Region, the Waterloo Regional Police Community Resources Division and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo to assist with their ongoing work in the community. In Delta, British Columbia, Gary Smallenberg, President of Canadian Autoparts Toyota Inc. and Stephen Beatty, Vice President of Toyota Canada Inc, presided over a similar ceremony. New Siennas were provided to the Canadian Cancer Society’s B.C./Yukon Region, the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Delta Hospice Society.
In 1985 CAPTIN began making aluminum alloy wheels for Toyota, the only automobile manufacturer with a parts manufacturing facility in B.C., and by 1987 had reached its maximum capacity of 240,000 wheels annually. An expansion project completed during 1989 doubled production and additional growth in the early ’90s raised output to 700,000. Today, after a total investment of over C$158 million, CAPTIN produces 1.2 million aluminum alloy wheels per year, from raw materials to finished product, and is an important supplier of wheels to Toyota manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States and Japan.
“Toyota’s success is the result of a dedicated team effort and all of us are proud to be part of that team,” said Gary Smallenberg, President of CAPTIN. “The ongoing dialogue between manufacturer, supplier and customer, dedicated to the principle of continuous improvement, ensures that every element of every operation is both efficient and effective. The results are great products that just keep getting better.”