Toyota celebrates 25 years of manufacturing in Kentucky image

Twenty five years ago, Toyota laid the foundation stone on a 1,300-acre farmland in Scott County that now is home to the company’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan, employing nearly 7,000 people.

To honour the event, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) will host a celebration on Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in the presence of Fujio Cho, chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and former president of the TMMK operation, former governor Martha Layne Collins and state and community leadership.

Over the 25 years of presence in Georgetown, Toyota has invested $5.4 billion in the facility, which witnessed several expansions, including the addition of two new plants. Today, TMMK produces Camry, Avalon and Venza vehicles, plus 4-cylinder and V6 engines, as well as several other components. The two manufacturing plants can produce 500,000 vehicles annually.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been 25 years since we began our journey here. I remember when we built the first Camry. Despite the uncertain future, we were excited to make Kentucky our first home for a Toyota vehicle plant in the U.S.,” said Cho, president of the plant from 1988 to 1994.

Since 1988, the facility has built 8.7 million vehicles. Aside from the 7,000 employees in Georgetown, Toyota has another 1,500 workers at its North American manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Kentucky, making the company the third largest private employer in the state. As part of the celebration, TMMK will donate a Georgetown-built Camry hybrid vehicle to one non-profit organization, as well as provide four other groups with individual $25,000 gifts.