Georgetown, Kentucky – Workers at Toyota’s massive northern Kentucky plant built their 10 millionth vehicle this week, a white Camry hybrid. The plant began production in 1988 with a much smaller version of the Camry.
At a plant celebration to mark the milestone, the plant’s first Camry sat next to the 10 millionth. Plant President Wil James notes, “Obviously, these two vehicles are worlds apart in many ways, but, at the same time, identical in others – particularly when it comes to craftsmanship and the care and love that went into their production.”
Avery Bussell Jr., one of the plant’s first employees, says, “Many people may be surprised at our growth and the success the past 26 years; I am not. We have the best, most dedicated work force in the world. It is all about family, working together to make the best product for the customer.”
Rather than keeping the car as a historic artifact, Toyota plans to hold a blind drawing this summer and award the new vehicle to one of the plant’s employees.
In addition to Camry, the No. 1 selling car 15 out of the last 16 years in the U.S., the Kentucky plant currently produces the Avalon and Venza. In 2015, the plant will become the first in the U.S. to make a Lexus vehicle – the ES350. Past models have included the Sienna mini-van and the Solara. Since inception, Toyota has invested $5.9 billion in the Georgetown plant – its largest in North America.
“I was lieutenant governor when Toyota came to Kentucky in 1986, and, over the years, it has been incredible to watch and assist in the growth that has taken place,” says Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “This plant now has 7,000 team members, and we look forward to continued growth with 750 jobs being added when production starts for the first U.S.-assembled Lexus next year.”