PLANO, Texas, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A V-8 engine growls, and the earth moves.
With the roar of a 2015 TRD Pro Series Tundra, Toyota today formally broke ground on its new North American headquarters at the intersection of Headquarters Drive and Palomino Crossing in Plano, Texas. The Tundra took center stage, bulldozing the first soil on the site of Toyota's new campus in a manner that can only be described as not your traditional groundbreaking ceremony.
"The support and encouragement we've received from the community, civic leaders, business partners and nearby corporations has been nothing short of tremendous," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor North America chief executive officer. "Our goal is to build an environmentally-sustainable campus that our new neighbors will welcome and our team members and associates will be proud to call home."
Toyota also unveiled an installation during the ceremony: the word "TOYOTA" in large letters, standing 10 feet tall and 64 feet wide. Inside each letter are native Texan Yaupon Holly trees, which represent "wish" trees, a Japanese cultural tradition. Students from the Plano ISD Academy High School and community participants contributed to the event by adding handwritten notes to the trees representing their wishes, dreams, hopes and inspirations. The notes will be collected from the holly trees and placed into a time capsule at the new headquarters.
The trees will be planted permanently once the Toyota headquarters is completed and will represent the long-standing friendship between Japan and the United States and the Company's commitment to the Plano community.
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere joined Lentz, addressing about 100 dignitaries and Toyota "Pioneers" – team members and associates who have already made the move to North Texas.
"Today's groundbreaking event marks another milestone for the future of Toyota and the future of the City of Plano," he said. "Toyota has already proven to be a great corporate citizen and neighbor, and we look forward to the continued impact they will have not only on Plano but on the whole North Texas region."
"Breaking ground in Plano is an exciting and tangible demonstration of the great progress we are making in bringing our major North American business affiliates and leaders together in one location for the first time," said Mike Groff, President and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. "As we create this best place to work for our people, we will strengthen our ability to put customers first and make a meaningful difference in the communities we are privileged to serve."
Since announcing the relocation last April, Toyota has purchased property; hired a developer (KDC), architect (Corgan Associates) and project manager (JLL), and filed a preliminary site plan with the City of Plano. The Company is now engaged in the design process, and formal construction activity is set to begin in the next several weeks. Completion is expected by late 2016 or early 2017.
Javier Moreno, Toyota Corporate Communications
Josh Reed, Allison+Partners
Toyota (NYSE: TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants and directly employ more than 40,000 people. Our 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About Toyota Financial Services
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is a service mark used to refer to a number of entities, including Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC), Toyota Financial Savings Bank (TFSB), and Toyota Motor Insurance Services, Inc. (TMIS).