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Dec. 3, 2010

GOV. BARBOUR ANNOUNCES TOYOTA BOSHOKU AMERICA MOVING FORWARD WITH ITAWAMBA COUNTY OPERATIONS

FULTON – Gov. Haley Barbour and officials from Toyota Boshoku America (TBA) and Toyota Boshoku Japan announced today that the company is moving forward with preparations to begin production at its facility in Fulton, Miss., in Itawamba County. From the facility, Toyota Boshoku Mississippi (TBMS) will produce seats and door panels for the Toyota Corolla, which will be manufactured at the Toyota plant in Blue Springs, Miss. The project represents an initial investment of approximately $46 million by TBA and will create 250 new jobs at the facility by the time the company starts production in the fall of 2011.

“I am delighted to join Toyota Boshoku America in announcing that plans for production and hiring have begun at Toyota Boshoku Mississippi,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “When Toyota was forced to delay production in Blue Springs as a result of the weakened economy, its suppliers, including TBA, delayed the start of their operations as a result. I commend company officials for honoring their commitment to our state and our workforce and am pleased that TBMS is pressing forward to produce parts for one of America’s best-selling vehicles by the end of next year.”

The 404,000-square-foot TBMS facility in Itawamba County is now complete, and the company has ordered much of the equipment needed to begin production.

“The last three years were unprecedented.  We faced a global recession that caused significant struggles for the automotive industry,” said Masaki Katsuragi, chief executive officer of TBA.  “Today, we are ready to move forward and get to work in Mississippi.  We appreciate the leadership of Governor Barbour and the patience of the community in Itawamba County.  We have begun and will continue to fulfill our promise to invest in the community and create new jobs in the region.”

“We are excited about the news that Toyota Boshoku America is resuming its plans to begin production and start hiring its Mississippi workforce,” said Gray Swoope, MDA executive director. “Toyota Boshoku was the first supplier to announce it was locating in Mississippi to supply Toyota’s Blue Springs plant, and its decision to locate in Itawamba County, outside of the immediate Blue Springs area, demonstrates that suppliers will have a significant impact throughout the north Mississippi region.”

TBA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Boshoku Corporation, based in Kariya City, Japan.  TBA and its affiliates employ approximately 6,000 team members in 20 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Argentina.  The company is a premier manufacturer of automotive interior systems, which include seats, door trims, headliners and substrates, carpets, fabrics and straps, as well as air and oil filters for a variety of customers, including Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.toyota-boshoku.co.jp/en/.