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TOYOTA OPENS ARIZONA PROVING GROUND

 PHOENIX, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Today marked the official opening of Toyota's new Arizona Proving Ground, located 45 miles northwest of Phoenix. On hand for the festivities were Arizona Gov. Fife Symington and Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, chairman of Toyota Motor Corp. The proving ground "marks another milestone for us in putting our American operations on a truly American footing," Toyoda told the crowd of local citizens, officials and auto industry executives.
 The Toyota Arizona Proving Ground is part of a more than $300 million investment in U.S. R&D, including technical centers in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Torrance, Calif., and a U.S. design center in Newport Beach, Calif. Located on 12,000 acres of land in Wittmann, Ariz., the newly completed Proving Ground is Toyota's largest and one of the largest in the world, featuring a 10-mile high speed oval, a ride-and-handling course, and a dirt track.
 The Toyota Arizona Proving Ground is a facility of Toyota Technical Center, U.S.A., (TTC) which is Toyota's U.S. R&D company headquartered in Ann Arbor. "With the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground, we have added the final major piece to our capability to complete the circle of vehicle development in North America, from the identification of market need, to styling, to engineering, to manufacturing, and finally to sales," said TTC President Ted Nakagawa.
 Toyota announced plans at the start of this decade to strengthen its U.S. R&D capabilities to match its growing North American manufacturing presence by conducting extensive design and development in the United States, and introducing localized parts and materials evaluation to involve more American suppliers in the company's "design-in" parts development process. In fiscal 1993, Toyota vehicles will use more than $4 billion in U.S. parts and materials. By 1994, the company expects to achieve its own goal of $5.2 billion.
 "This is a great example of today's global economy in a win-win formula," Symington said. "We in Arizona are proud to have been chosen as the site for this facility." One of the main reasons the site was selected was to test vehicle durability in extremely hot weather. Engines, suspensions, brakes, heating and air conditioning, transmissions, tires, and cooling systems will all be tested and evaluated. In addition, the facility has a material exposure area where paints, vinyls, rubber, and other materials will be exposed to the weather for long periods to determine their durability.
 The $110-million Toyota Arizona Proving Ground was constructed by a joint venture of the Bechtel Corp. of San Francisco and Taisei Corp. of Tokyo.
 -0- 4/22/93
 /CONTACT: Vicki Vergeldt of Toyota Technical Center, 602-546-5324, or 313-995-5014 (after April 26, 1993); or Mindy Geller of Toyota Motor Sales, 213-618-5204/


CO: Toyota Motor Sales Inc.; Toyota Arizona Proving Ground ST: Arizona IN: AUT SU:

EH-JB -- LA030 -- 9513 04/22/93 13:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 22, 1993
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