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TOYOTA DEDICATES NEW REGIONAL OFFICE COMPLEX

 TOYOTA DEDICATES NEW REGIONAL OFFICE COMPLEX
 AURORA, Ill., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.,


Inc. (TMS) today held a grand opening ceremony for its new Chicago Regional Office and Parts Distribution Center (PDC).
 "The grand opening of this impressive $46 million complex is yet another example of Toyota's growing North American commitment," said Yale Gieszl, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "We have been investing in North America for 35 years. In total we have about $5.2 billion invested in land, facilities and equipment in the U.S. and Canada and we directly employ more than 18,000 people."
 "These two modern facilities are a monument to Toyota's ongoing commitment to our customers and dealers," said Shinji Sakai, newly appointed president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Seeing this complex for the first time makes me realize how Toyota has grown since we started selling cars here in 1958. We had 45 dealers in 1958 and our lineup consisted of one car. Today, we have 1,350 dealers and offer 13 lines of cars and trucks. In 1958, we sold a total of 228 cars. Last year, we sold more than a million cars and trucks."
 "Toyota's commitment to the U.S. market also results in business opportunities for U.S. suppliers," Gieszl added. "Our purchases from 260 Midwest suppliers, including 30 in Illinois, provide a boost to the Midwest economy. For example, we purchase truck bumpers from Flex-N-Gate in Urbana, stainless steel from Allegheny Ludlum in Schaumburg and axle forging from Jernberg Industries in Chicago."
 The Regional Sales Office has 36,000 square feet of space for the offices for the region's 66 associates. It houses a state-of-the-art service training center. The office is linked via satellite to TMS corporate headquarters in Torrance, Calif. The satellite link provides for two-way video conferencing, as well as data transfer.
 The Chicago Regional staff consists of 11 departments which include Sales, Distribution, Fleet, Parts, Service, Market Representation, Business Management, Dealer Operations, Customer Relations, Merchandising and Sales Training. Each department coordinates specific activities to support 114 Toyota dealerships in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Toyota projects that dealers in the Chicago region will sell 70,000 cars and trucks and over $100 million in parts and accessories in 1992.
 The PDC encompasses 374,000 square feet and employs some 80 associates.
 "Our new PDC will enable us to provide customers, dealers and associates with a new level of excellence," said Richard Gallio, vice president, Parts, Service and U.S. Products. "We established four key objectives in our initial planning efforts:
 -- Improve our dealer order processing accuracy;
 -- Enhance operating efficiencies;
 -- Test new distribution technology to benefit other distribution centers and dealers; and
 -- Create a safe and pleasant work environment for our associates."
 Beneath the PDC's 5-acre roof are 240,000 separate storage locations for literally millions of parts. While the PDC functions primarily as a regional distribution center, providing parts to Toyota and Lexus dealers throughout the Midwest, it will soon stock the slowest-moving parts inventory for dealers throughout the United States. In addition to automotive parts, the PDC will stock parts for Toyota Industrial Equipment.
 The PDC is 663 feet in length and 573 feet in width, with a usable storage height of 22 feet. The PDC's combined use of material handling and data systems is unique in the automotive industry. Key components include an automated storage and retrieval system for stocking and picking of fast-moving, small parts; bar-code technology for improved accuracy; man-aboard order pickers; a system of conveyors for in- and outbound shipments; and a network of hand-held and stationary bar-code scanners and R.F. terminals.
 Ground was broken for the new complex on May 24, 1990. The move of the Regional Office from the former office in Carol Stream, Ill., was completed in August 1991. The move of the PDC from the former PDC in Carol Stream was completed in April 1992.
 Architect for the project was Perkins & Will, Chicago/New York/ Washington, D.C. General contractor for the project was Turner Construction Company, Chicago.
 -0- 6/16/92
 /CONTACT: John McCandless, 313-259-2004, or (today only in Chicago) Mona Richard or McCandless, 708-907-0150, both of Toyota/ CO: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:


JG-SM -- DE013 -- 0617 06/16/92 11:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 16, 1992
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