Workers at Georgetown Toyota plant produce 10 millionth car - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Workers at Georgetown Toyota plant produce 10 millionth car

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WDRB) - Workers at Toyota's Georgetown plant marked a major milestone this morning.

Company officials celebrated the 10 millionth vehicle during a ceremony Thursday.

The Georgetown plant operates Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility in North America: 7,000 workers building about a half-million cars each year, from the Toyota Camry, to the Avalon to their hybrid counterparts and the Toyota Venza.

The plant has grown in the last 26 years to 7.5 million square feet – that’s like the size of 150 football fields. Toyota has invested nearly $6 billion and next year plans to add the first Lexus assembly line in the United States.

Former Governor Martha Lane Collins was instrumental in bringing Toyota to Kentucky in 1988.

"Oh what a feeling it has been," Collins said. "It's a great feeling to know that we promised that Kentucky would provide one of the best work forces in America."

Christina Board is an employee who has been traveling 130 miles from Louisville to Georgetown for the past 26 years.

"It takes about an hour and five minutes from door-to-door," she said. "It's provided a good life for me and my family."

But this celebration was tempered by the surprising news of a few months ago that Toyota was closing its northern Kentucky operation, taking with it 1,600 jobs. WDRB’s Gilbert Corsey asked plant president, Wil James, about the long-term stability of Toyota in Georgetown.

“We want to be able to establish our new Toyota culture, and we thought doing it in a neutral site was the right thing to do,” James said. “Now think about Kentucky – what’s happening with Kentucky. Yes, the Erlinger office is closing, but we’re bringing all of the engineering entities out of there, here on this site here in Georgetown. So Georgetown will actually grow as a result.”

Ten million is a milestone, but it’s already been driven past. The company actually reached 10,008,000 today.

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