Toyota Manufacturing in America 40 Years On

Quick: What was the first Toyota manufacturing plant in the U.S.? If you guessed the Georgetown Plant, you’re wrong.

Quick: What was the first Toyota manufacturing plant in the U.S.?

If you guessed the Georgetown Plant, you’re wrong. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, actually started production in 1988, when a Camry rolled off the line at the plant.

Two years earlier, the first Toyota built in the U.S., a Corolla, was produced at the NUMMI joint venture-plant in Fremont, California, which partnered Toyota with GM.

But in 1974, Toyota purchased a company in Long Beach, California, Atlas Fabricators. In ’72 Toyota had made a contract with Atlas, a metal fab facility, to produce truck beds for vehicles coming to the U.S.

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So Toyota Auto Body California (TABC) is now celebrating its 40th anniversary (though some may argue that isn’t going to happen for two more years).

Today there are 470 people there who produce stamped and welded parts, steering columns, and catalytic converters for use in both North American and Japanese assembly plants.

Congratulations to the folks at TABC.