Foto van een Toyota Tundra, opgebouwd als open laadbak. Sometimes a shovel just doesn’t cut it. To break ground on its new production engineering campus in Georgetown today, Toyota called in a pro. A 2015 TRD Pro Series Tundra, that is. During a ceremony Tuesday, the custom-designed Toyota truck took the spotlight, moving dirt to signal the start of construction on the building that will soon house the company’s North American production engineering team. Located on the grounds of Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing operation, once complete, the 250,000 sq. ft. building will include a state-of-the-art test lab and provide an innovative work space for approximately 700 team members. Toyota’s expansion in Georgetown represents a local investment of $80 million, and marks its third major groundbreaking event in North America since the start of the year. “Bringing Toyota’s production engineering team under one roof is a key element of Toyota’s ongoing unification of our North American operations, which includes a new headquarters in Plano, Texas and new facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan,” said Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz. “The impact of these investments will be felt by our customers through improved quality, adoption of new technologies and greater value of the vehicles we produce, like the iconic Camry built here in Georgetown, Kentucky.” At the ceremony, Toyota thanked the community for nearly three decades of support by announcing donations of three Toyota vehicles to local organizations. These included: Salato Wildlife Education Center, which engages over 100,000 people annually through education about the importance of Kentucky’s natural resources; SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region), an organization formed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers to re-grow and diversify the economy in Eastern Kentucky; Scott United, an arm of the Georgetown-Scott County Chamber of Commerce aimed at advancing workforce development in the hometown of Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant. Joining Lentz were 100 production engineering team members, many of who are soon-to-be residents of Central Kentucky. As part of the expansion, Toyota is relocating approximately 300 people to the Georgetown campus, a move that furthers Toyota’s commitment to drive more local decision-making and ultimately faster, more precise response to the needs of the marketplace. “We are excited to expand the presence that Toyota started over 25 years ago,” said Production Engineering Senior Vice President, Tadahisa Isono. “From this facility, we will not only support our diverse workforce and network of manufacturing operations throughout North America, we will also equip our team to bring the future of manufacturing to the present.” Construction is expected to be complete in late 2017. About Toyota Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
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