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Toyota Ontario Parts Center Brings New Jobs and New Responsibilities to U.S.

ONTARIO, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- California Governor Pete Wilson and other officials joined Toyota executives here today at the Grand Opening celebration of Toyota's largest parts center in the world, the $75-million Ontario Parts Center. The Center currently employs more than 450 people and has taken over from Japan the responsibility of supplying Toyota and Lexus service and replacement parts to all of North America.

"This Ontario Parts Center is another sign that California's economy is getting back on track," said Governor Wilson. "More companies are realizing that California's resources and people make this state an ideal place to do business."

Governor Wilson's trade missions to Japan and other Asian countries to encourage new jobs and investment were cited by Toyota as one of the reasons the Center was located in Ontario. "You deserve to be here today to see for yourself ... that your persistence has paid off," said Bob Bennett, group vice president of Toyota's North American Parts Logistics Division.

Toyota's establishment of this Center in the United States is a direct result of the company's globalization efforts and investment in other U.S. operations.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. President and CEO Yoshio Ishizaka spoke of the commitment Toyota has made to the United States since it began as a fledgling importer 40 years ago. "Today, Toyota has invested nearly $6 billion in U.S. operations, and the company now employs nearly 20,000 Americans," he said. "When you add all the people who work in our Toyota, Lexus and forklift dealerships around the country, the total number of employees climbs to more than 96,000."

Much of Toyota's commitment to the United States is reflected in the company's increasing North American manufacturing. Toyota Motor Corporation Vice Chairman Iwao Isomura said, "in 1985, nearly all of the Toyota cars and trucks sold in America were imported from Japan. Last year, 60 percent of all the Toyota vehicles sold in the U.S. were built in North America ... and there will be more U.S. production of Toyota cars and trucks in the future."

As North American production increases, more parts, materials and services will be purchased from U.S. suppliers, Isomura noted. That trend also results in the transfer of more support activities from Japan to the U.S., like the Ontario Parts Center operations.

The function of the Ontario Parts Center is to receive parts from suppliers in Japan, Canada and the United States. Those parts are then sent:

* to Toyota's 11 U.S. parts distribution centers (which supply parts to more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Toyota Industrial Equipment dealers);

* to all six of Toyota's North American Distributors in Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa; and

* to General Motors

Additionally, the Ontario Parts Center supplies parts to distribution centers in Japan and Europe to support the U.S.-built vehicles exported to some 22 countries.

"With the rapid growth of Toyota's North American production and Toyota's record sales in the U.S. over the past two years, our job here has proven to be an even greater challenge than we thought," Bennett said. "But thanks to the great effort of our associates, we are shipping record volumes of parts to meet our customers' needs."

The 760,000-square foot building houses a $75-million inventory of 3.5 million parts, with 243,000 part numbers. Every 20 seconds of every working day, one pallet of auto parts is received and shipped from the Center.

As a special thank you to the people in the Ontario community who have been supportive of the Center throughout its development, TMS Executive Vice President Yale Gieszl presented a $50,000 donation to the Ontario City Library to establish a "Toyota Learning Center." The funds will allow the library to purchase 1O computers, interactive software and other educational tools.

SOURCE Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc.
 -0- 02/12/97


/CONTACT: Nancy Hubbell or Melinda Beckett-Maines, both of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., 310-618-5297 or 310-618-6721/

(TOYOY)

CO: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc. ST: California IN: AUT SU: PDT

MZ-NL -- LAW007 -- 3852 02/12/97 13:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 12, 1997
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