Toyota: Race’s sponsor is valued member of Central Kentucky
In 1957, the year Round Table won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, Toyota established a presence in the United States by setting up shop in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood, California. Sales began in 1958 and totaled 288 vehicles: 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser.
Over the next several years, Toyota vehicles became so popular in this country that the Japanese automaker began to build manufacturing plants across the U.S. In the 1980s, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) built a plant in nearby Georgetown and in 1988 began producing the popular Camry. In 1996, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, five area Toyota dealerships and Toyota Motor Sales in Cincinnati teamed up to sponsor the Blue Grass Stakes, marking Toyota’s first sponsorship of a horse race. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Keeneland replaces vehicles in its fleet with Toyotas.
Toyota’s $5.4 billion, stateof- the-art automotive complex in Georgetown is Toyota’s largest production facility outside of Japan. The Georgetown facility has the capacity to produce 500,000 vehicles and engines annually with nearly 7,000 employees. Its products include the Camry, Americas No. 1 selling car for consecutive years. TMMK also produces the Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Venza. Meanwhile, Toyota relies on more than 350 suppliers, including nearly 100 in Kentucky.
Last year marked a very good year for Toyota, which set a record for North American production with 1.78 million vehicles manufactured, up 41 percent from 2011. Other production achievements included building its 25 millionth vehicle in North America – a 2013 Hybrid Avalon – in Georgetown.
Toyota hired team members from nearly every one of Kentucky’s 120 counties and continues its philosophy of giving back to the communities where team members live. Since arriving in Georgetown in 1986, TMMK has distributed nearly $44 million in gifts and sponsorships across Kentucky.
You can read more about Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky at www.ToyotaGeorgetown.com.