Toyota in Georgia Celebrates 25 Years in Business
Toyota might be a Japanese company, but the automaker has roots all across the US. With facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, West Virginia, Alabama, and Georgia, it’s safe to say that even though your Toyota is technically a Japanese vehicle, chances are high it bleeds red, white, and blue. As a demonstration of just how long Toyota has been a mainstay in our country, Southeast Toyota in Georgia is celebrating 25 years since its inception in 1989.
In the beginning, the Southeast Toyota processing facility in Commerce, Georgia, employed 15 people and processed 17,000 Toyotas per year. Today, that same facility employs 200 workers. To celebrate a quarter century in the community, Southeast Toyota made a donation to the Commerce’s Veterans Memorial Park to help build a new pavilion. This is just one example of how Toyota in Georgia is helping build its community, both by bringing jobs and by making donations to help better its neighborhood.
Toyota in Georgia: A History
Southeast Toyota was originally founded in 1968 by Jim Moran, a car sales legend who was the first car dealer to advertise on TV and went on to own the world’s largest Ford dealer. Toyota wanted to break into the American market, and contacted Moran about establishing a network of dealerships in the Southeast United States. After testing out a Toyota vehicle, Moran (who had no idea what a Toyota was prior to this) deemed it to be well-made and affordable, and so established Toyota’s first US presence with the opening of the first processing and distribution center in Jacksonville, Florida. A couple of decades later, Moran expanded operations to include the Georgia Inland Processing center in Commerce.
Today, the Georgia facility employs some workers who have been there from the beginning, such as Kathy Archer, Product & General Processing Supervisor, who commented, “When Southeast Toyota started here, I was working at a local factory and looking for something different and better. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me and my family. It has put me in a position where I know that I will be able to retire comfortably. Not to mention, it’s a company that gives back to the community in so many ways. We always get involved in local events, especially when it supports children.”
Archer’s feelings are mirrored by other employees of Toyota in Georgia, and the facility plans on remaining in Commerce for a good, long while.