TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota will continue deepening its commitment to the Latino community with its repeat sponsorship of the Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) 2012 Conference October 25-27, 2012 in Houston. Anticipated to host approximately 1,000 attendees, the annual conference is LATISM's flagship event and will bring together community leaders, social media and technology influencers, educators, government officials and others to explore best practices and resources.
As the exclusive automotive sponsor, Toyota will engage participants with activities aimed to showcase key conservation, education and safety missions aligning with LATISM priorities that span more than 180,000 members. Toyota events include:
- Booth with photo sharing and Toyota's corporate philanthropy efforts
- Seat belt and child car seat safety demonstration and giveaways
- Opportunities to drive new Toyotas, including the Prius family of hybrid vehicles and the Texas-built Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks
- Participation on education, health, business and technology panels by Toyota and its partners
Toyota also is kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) with the launch of @ToyotaLatino on Twitter. The new handle will provide the company opportunities to highlight and celebrate the community, engage at live events and share more vehicle information with owners and enthusiasts.
"Returning as a key LATISM conference sponsor underscores the pride and appreciation we have for our Latino customer base and their contributions to social media and our broader communities," said Julie Hamp, Toyota's North American chief communications officer. "At the LATISM conference, throughout Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond, the @ToyotaLatino Twitter handle will give us a new tool to share, listen and learn with this vibrant, growing population."
Toyota is participating in additional social media events this fall including a Twitter party and live blogger event about families and literacy, a Latino and conservation blogger event and a return to Houston for a panel on safety targeted to the Latino community.
Since 2004, Toyota has been the leading automotive brand among the U.S. Latino community. Data indicates nearly one of six Latino buyers choose a Toyota when purchasing a car or truck, the highest of any brand. Toyota brands make up more than half of all U.S. hybrid purchases by Latinos.
"We appreciate Toyota's expanded commitment to help LATISM excite and support the Latino community around social media and key organization initiatives," said Ana Roca Castro, founder and chairwoman of LATISM. "Specifically around safety, we know Toyota's education efforts will have an important impact on our members and their families."
The conference's location in Houston builds upon Toyota's substantial investment in Texas, including the site of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX) in San Antonio where the Tundra full-size pickup and the Tacoma compact pickup are manufactured. Seven of the facility's on-site suppliers are minority joint ventures, including six locally-owned, who provide parts, materials and logistics services. TMMTX represents a $2.1 billion investment and nearly 3,000 jobs. In addition, Toyota is the name sponsor of the Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets and future host of the 2013 NBA All-Star game.
Houston is also headquarters for Gulf States Toyota, an independent distributor serving 154 locations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The company introduced Toyota vehicles in the region in 1969.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over $600 million dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S.
For more information on Toyota in the U.S., visit www.ToyotaInAction.com.
Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) is a 501(c) 4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the social, civic and economic status of the Latino community through technology innovation and social media. LATISM also helps to raise awareness among corporate brands, NGOs and government entities about using social media to reach Latinos. Our partnership initiatives include research, event sponsorships, and leadership training. A pioneering social media organization with over 180,000 members in its network, LATISM has been hailed as the most influential online movement in the new multicultural Web. To learn more about the LATISM organization, visit http://latism.org
ABOUT LATISM '12
The LATISM '12 Conference is LATISM's centerpiece, fully bilingual event of the year. This national event will consolidate LATISM's mission and audience of health providers, government officials, educators, community members and thought leaders. Since 2009, the Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) events have taken place in cities all around the United States, including New York, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley, featuring more than 400 speakers to date. Participants have included over 5,000 in-person attendees, with thousands more engaging via social media.