Toyota Mississippi Begins Second Shift image

Toyota Motor Corp., the largest Japanese automaker, on Monday said it added a second shift for production of the Corolla, the world’s best-selling car of all time. Approximately 2,000 people are employed at the plant site.

“Adding a second shift is a significant milestone for us,” said David Copenhaver, vice president of administration at TMMMS.

“Our team members’ strong work ethic and focus on quality and safety has begun to pay dividends for Corolla customers across North America as we continue production ramp up through spring.”

The $800 million facility is the 14th plant in North America for the Japanese automaker, which builds 12 different vehicles in the United States, including the Camry, RAV4 and Tacoma pickup. Together, they account for nearly 70 percent of Toyota’s U.S. sales.

The Japanese automaker plans to use its North American plants as a bigger source of vehicle exports as a way to blunt the impact of the rising yen.

The company is now shipping cars and trucks built at North American plants to 19 countries, including South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and aims to significantly boost the volume, totaling 16,700 units a year ago.