FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2008
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR JOINS OFFICIALS OF TOYOTA BOSHOKU AMERICA FOR GROUNDBREAKING IN ITAWAMBA COUNTY
Dr. Toyoda visits state while $80 million plant takes root and Toyota Boshoku Mississippi is officially established
(Itawamba County, Miss.) February 6, 2008 - Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour joined Dr. Shuhei Toyoda, president of Toyota Boshoku Corporation, and Kiyoshi "Nate" Furuta, chairman and CEO of Toyota Boshoku America (TBA), today at the new construction site in Itawamba County to officially break ground for Toyota Boshoku Mississippi (TBMS). The new plant will supply seats, door panels and carpet to the Toyota Highlander vehicle plant in Blue Springs, Miss.
"The groundbreaking of Toyota Boshoku's Mississippi plant not only signifies new, good-paying jobs and a boost to the economy, but also solidifies our 'can-do' partnerships with Toyota and related automotive suppliers," said Governor Barbour. "By working together we are taking Mississippi to a higher level on the world automotive stage, demonstrating real progress that is already resulting in tremendous benefits for our entire state and our workforce. I congratulate the leadership of this fine company and all of the regional and local communities which today celebrate this significant milestone."
TBMS will employ approximately 500 team members and be operational by 2010. A wide range of employees will be needed for the plant, from material handling and production workers to engineers and plant administration personnel. Hiring plans are underway as new TBMS Human Resources Manager Mike Mitchell mentioned at a recent open house at the company's temporary office in Fulton, Miss., next to Itawamba Community College. The plant will become the largest manufacturing employer in Itawamba County.
"We are proud and honored today as we officially plant our roots in this great community," said Nate Furuta. "I am very pleased and thank Governor Barbour and the officials in Itawamba County for working hard to make today possible. They have all demonstrated tremendous teamwork, and thanks to their leadership, we will soon begin hiring for 500 new positions at our facility."
The TBMS plant will be 386,000 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 for the project and local residents.
Toyota Boshoku Corporation and TBA are active contributors to the communities where their facilities are located. During TBA's August 2007 announcement, a $20,000 donation was made to the Itawamba Community College Workforce Development and Training programs. The college will provide TBMS with employment application assistance as well as help preselect possible candidates and support training efforts before the plant opening.
The companies are also dedicated to operating plants in an environmentally friendly manner. Toyota Boshoku:
- Uses of state-of-the-art technology in all new manufacturing plants to minimize the use of water, electricity and natural gas resources.
- 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.
- Started implementation of the Zero Land Fill and CO2 Emission Reduction initiatives at all TBA locations.
- Actively participates in environmental management recycling programs including the recycling of cardboard, pallets, plastic, metals and other commodities.
- Established an internal requirement to have all TBA manufacturing locations certified to the ISO 14001 Environmental Standard.
The Toyoda (now Toyota) Boshoku Corporation was founded by Sakichi Toyoda in 1918. The Toyota Motor Corporation was initially founded as an automotive department of Toyota Industries in 1933. Toyota Motor was made an independent company in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda. In 2004, Toyota Boshoku, Araco Corporation and Takanichi Co. Ltd. were merged to become Toyota Boshoku Corporation.
Since August 2007, TBA has announced more than $150 million in investments and more than 1,000 new jobs in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Mississippi. Toyota Boshoku has been recognized as the fastest-growing automotive supplier worldwide.
About Toyota Boshoku America, Inc.
Toyota Boshoku Corporation is based in Kariya, Japan, with revenues near $10 billion and operations in over 20 countries. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Toyota Boshoku America (TBA), and its affiliates employ 6,600 team members in 23 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Argentina. TBA is a premier manufacturer of automotive interior systems which include seats, door trims, headliners and substratas, carpets, fabrics and straps in addition to air and oil filters and power train systems for a variety of customers such as Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors. For more information, visit www.toyota-boshoku.co.jp/en/<http://www.toyota-boshoku.co.jp/en/>.