August 28, 2007 - Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour joined Junichi Yoshikawa, Chairman of Toyota Boshoku Corporation, and Kiyoshi "Nate" Furuta, Chairman and CEO of Toyota Boshoku America, today at Itawamba Community College to announce that Toyota Boshoku America will build a new plant in Itawamba County, Miss., to supply seats, door panels and carpet to the Toyota Highlander Sport Utility Vehicle plant in Tupelo, Miss.
"We in Mississippi are excited to have been chosen by Toyota Boshoku as its partner. The company selected north Mississippi for its quality workforce and the leadership offered by the state, the county and the local communities," said Governor Haley Barbour. "When we announced Toyota in February, I stated that we would be aggressive in recruiting all of the Toyota suppliers we can to Mississippi so that many towns and counties would benefit from the jobs created by those suppliers. With today's announcement, Toyota Boshoku, the first supplier to choose its site, has already begun to make a difference in the state and in Itawamba county."
"We are very proud to join our fellow Toyota companies in Mississippi and locate our newest plant in the United States in Itawamba County, Miss., for many reasons, including the region's talented and dedicated workforce and its proximity to the Toyota Highlander SUV plant," said Kiyoshi "Nate" Furuta, Chairman and CEO, Toyota Boshoku America, Inc. "Toyota Boshoku America is a growing company and we plan to continue to meet our customer's demands by expanding our presence and sales in the U.S. We look forward to becoming an active member of the Itawamba County community."
To demonstrate Toyota Boshoku's commitment to the community of Itawamba County, Toyota Boshoku will make a $20,000 donation to the Itawamba Community College workforce training and development programs via the College's Foundation. "I look forward to working with Toyota Boshoku on workforce preparation and training. This donation will allow Itawamba Community College to enhance our student's employment opportunities within the county," said Dr. David Cole, President, Itawamba Community College.
The Toyota Boshoku America Mississippi plant will employ approximately 500 workers and be operational by 2010. The plant will manufacture seats, door panels and carpet for the Toyota Highlander vehicle. A wide range of employees will be needed for the plant, from material handling to production workers, engineers and plant administration personnel. Hiring is expected to begin in 2008. The plant will become the largest manufacturing employer in Itawamba County.
The Toyota Boshoku America Mississippi plant will be 341,000 square feet and located on 40 acres in an industrial park off of Highway 78 that is 24 miles east of the Toyota Highlander plant in Blue Springs, Miss. A new access road to the plant will be constructed by October, 2008, to ensure smooth traffic flow.
Toyota Boshoku Corporation and Toyota Boshoku America, under the direction of Dr. Shuhei Toyoda, the President, are active contributors to the communities where their facilities are located. The companies are also dedicated to operating plants in an environmentally friendly manner. Toyota Boshoku America will use state-of-the-art technology to minimize the use of water, electricity and natural gas in the Toyota Boshoku America Mississippi plant.
Toyota Boshoku Corporation pioneered the use of the Kenaf plant, a fast-growing annual plant that absorbs carbon dioxide, in manufacturing door trims for vehicle interiors. Toyota Boshoku now supplies Kenaf-based boards to interior parts factories all over the world.
The Toyoda (now Toyota) Boshoku Corporation was founded by Sakichi Toyoda in 1918. The Toyota Motor Corporation was founded as an automotive department of Toyota Industries in 1928. Toyota Motor was made an independent company in 1933 by Shoichiro Toyoda. In 2004, Toyota Boshoku merged with Araco Corporation and Takanichi Co., Ltd. to become Toyota Boshoku Corporation.
About Toyota Boshoku America, Inc.
Toyota Boshoku America, a Toyota Boshoku company and member of the Toyota Group of businesses, was established in 2001 and recently opened its American headquarters in Erlanger, Ky. TBA is a premier manufacturer of automotive interior systems which include seats, door trims, headliner sub-stratas, carpets, fabrics, straps and round recliners in addition to air and oil filters and power train systems for a variety of customers such as Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors. Toyota Boshoku is based in Kariya, Japan, with 2006 revenue of $9.5 billion and operations in over 15 countries and one of the fastest growing automotive suppliers worldwide. For more information, visit www.toyota-boshoku.co.jp/en/.
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