Remarks by Mr. Akio Toyoda
Toyota Motor Corporation President
January 10, 2018
Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today. I’m very honored and excited to be here today to announce our new investment in Alabama together with Mr. Kogai of Mazda. I would like to thank Governor Ivey for having us here in Alabama, as well as other state and community leaders for joining us in this celebration of what will surely be a very exciting project for all of us. Being here today feels like a homecoming for Toyota and for me personally.
You probably know that Alabama is home to hundreds of our team members who build 700,000 engines per year for North American vehicles in our plant in Huntsville. Something you may not know is that Alabama was the very first state where I stayed when I was a young boy. I was a Boy Scout at the time, and this was my first extended stay away from home, so I was a little nervous. But thanks to the famous Southern hospitality, my first experience in America was a success and remained quite special to me. I’m very proud to be back in Alabama today.
When Toyota and Mazda announced our intention to build a new plant in the U.S. last summer, I said that two things brought the companies together: the love of cars and love of hometowns. While cars get our hearts pumping, hometowns make the success of our individuals. We are proud of where we come from, of course, but as we expanded our business globally, every place where we operate has become our hometown. Whenever I visit one of those hometowns, there is one thing I always say to the leaders I meet: I appreciate your people. Even though our local operations foster talent, our team members join Toyota after being educated and trained in their respective communities. They come to work every day because they lead fulfilling lives in the towns around the plant. That’s why I believe a hometown is critical for sustainable growth.
So today, I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Huntsville and other communities around the new site for welcoming us. Our success will only be achieved if we work together with your hometowns and their people. Together, we’ll care for this new plant, fostering it and planting the seeds for future generations. Together, I am confident we’ll create another “Built in America” success story.