NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota today announced it began to export U.S.-assembled Venza crossovers to its distributor in South Korea last month. Venza exports to South Korea are initially forecasted at approximately 600 units annually. The announcement was made by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. Senior Vice President Bob Carter at the Barclays Capital Global Automotive Conference.
These Venza vehicles will be produced by team members at Toyota's manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky. The plant is Toyota's largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan, employing about 6,600 team members directly and creating nearly 20,000 additional jobs with vendors and suppliers in Kentucky and other states in the region.
This is the first time the U.S.-assembled Venza will be exported outside of North America.
Toyota began exporting U.S.-assembled vehicles in 1988, and now exports U.S.-assembled vehicles to 21 countries around the world. These exports are expected to increase in calendar year 2012 to more than 130,000 units – a 52% increase from last year and an all-time high for Toyota.
The company began exporting Indiana-assembled Sienna minivans and Kentucky-assembled Camry sedans to South Korea last year. Other exports include the Kentucky-produced Avalon sedan, the Indiana-produced Highlander and Sequoia SUVs and the Texas-produced Tacoma and Tundra pick-up trucks.
"We are proud that Venza, designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S., has garnered so much interest not only here, but abroad," said Mr. Carter. "The export of Venza vehicles to South Korea helps maintain Toyota's strong, stable base of U.S. jobs, and is the result of the great work of our talented U.S. team members and our extensive investments across North America. We look forward to other opportunities to continue expanding exports from our American operations."
Venza exports to South Korea will ship from the Port of Hueneme, near Oxnard, Calif.
About the Toyota Venza
The Toyota Venza, first brought to market in 2008, is a versatile five-passenger vehicle that couples the styling and comfort of a passenger car with the flexibility of a sport utility vehicle (SUV), to give customers a stylish alternative to the traditional sedan.
Venza was primarily engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Its design was the creation of Toyota's Calty Design studios in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich. A 109.3-in. wheelbase, overall length of 189 inches and height of 63.4 inches give Venza about the same footprint as a midsize sedan. Calty designers leaned toward a sleek sedan-like concept with a wide stance that featured a sporty exterior, but also included important SUV attributes, such as cargo space, towing capability and available all-wheel drive performance.
Venza is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), in Georgetown, Ky., also home of the Camry and Avalon sedans. More than 70 percent of Venza's components come from North American suppliers.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold nearly 2 million vehicles in 2011. Toyota directly employs more than 35,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals nearly $25 billion.