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Toyota Breaks Ground for new Highlander
Plant in Mississippi
At a ceremony today with the local
community, Toyota broke ground on the future site of Toyota
Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. (TMMMS), its eighth
vehicle manufacturing plant in North America.
Production at the $1.3 billion plant is
scheduled to begin by 2010 with 2,000 team members that will
produce the Toyota Highlander SUV; annual vehicle capacity will
be 150,000 units. Once production begins at TMMMS, Toyota will
have the capacity to produce approximately 2.2 million cars and
trucks annually in North America.
Attending the ceremony were Mississippi
Governor Haley Barbour and Toyota Motor Corporation president Katsuaki
They congratulated the community for its hard
work and commitment to bringing Toyota to the state.
"Today's groundbreaking actually puts this
project ahead of schedule and we intend to keep it that way," said
Governor Barbour. "We want Toyota to see Mississippi as the best partner
they've ever had."
"Our goal is to make a positive contribution to
the community while beginning a new partnership with local citizens,"
said Watanabe. "We will make every effort to be the best business
partner in Mississippi and thank Governor Barbour and all citizens for
their warm welcome."
Aerial snapshot of the area
U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Trent Lott and
Congressman Roger Wicker expressed their appreciation to the community
and to Toyota via a taped message.
Excavation at the Blue Springs site began in
March and site preparation will begin in May. It is expected that 2,000
construction workers will be on-site during peak of construction in
summer 2008. Most of these construction workers will be hired locally.
Toyota's goal is to spend 15 percent of TMMMS'
construction budget with local minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs).
All Photos: Toyota
(April 18, 2007)