Suppliers Recognized for Contribution to Successful Launch of New Corolla and Supplier Diversity Initiatives
At Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America's (TMMNA's) Annual Supplier Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony, six of Toyota's North American suppliers were awarded Superior Awards, the company's highest level of recognition: AK Steel Corporation, Nova Chemicals, Inc., Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, Inc., TRW Fuji Valve, Inc., U.S. Engine Valve Company, and TG North America, Inc. (see attached chart for a complete list of Superior and Excellent Award winners).
The awards, presented last night in Northern Kentucky, acknowledge those suppliers who have met Toyota's highest standards in quality, delivery, and value improvement for parts, materials, and transportation. Additionally, special recognition awards were given for vehicle launch performance. This award recognizes those suppliers whose exemplary work over the past several years greatly contributed to a smooth launch of the new model Corolla.
This year marked the first year for Supplier Diversity Awards, recognizing those suppliers who put forth outstanding efforts on supplier diversity initiatives.
"The quality and reliability of Toyota's vehicles depend on the success of our North American suppliers," said Osamu "Simon" Nagata, vice president of Purchasing for TMMNA, located in Erlanger, Ky.
"Our suppliers are used to challenges, but this year presented additional obstacles such as the West Coast port crisis. These suppliers achieve and often exceed our strict performance standards. This is an opportunity for Toyota to formally recognize their valuable contribution to our success."
Toyota's Annual Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony brings together the automaker's approximately 500 North American suppliers to share expectations for the coming business year and to recognize outstanding performance among suppliers.
With plans to reach annual capacity of 1.65 million cars and trucks and 1.16 million engines by 2006, Toyota's increased manufacturing investment in North America has a significant impact on the amount of goods and services purchased in North America.
The Annual Business Meeting featured a keynote address by Mike Abrashoff, former Commander of U.S.S. Benfold, who was the youngest commanding officer in the Pacific Fleet. Abrashoff spoke about his system of beliefs he calls GrassRoots Leadership, replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion.
Toyota currently has ten vehicle manufacturing and parts facilities in North America, and is building three more - in Huntsville, Alabama; Baja California, Mexico; and San Antonio, Texas.
The automaker currently employs some 34,000 people throughout North America. The company's direct investment is nearly $14 billion with annual parts, materials, goods and services purchased from North American suppliers totaling nearly $20 billion.