Issue: Nov 2005


Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) in recognition of more than $1 billion in minority purchases



by John Larkin

Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TMMNA) today announced at Opportunity Exchange, the company's annual minority business conference and trade fair, that it exceeded its target of spending $1 billion with minority Tier I businesses in 2004, one year ahead of schedule.

This target, originally announced in 2002, set a goal of 7.5 percent annual minority purchases by 2005.

"There are many factors that went into this accomplishment, from the hard work of our team members to the top support of Toyota management," said Adrienne Trimble, manager of supplier diversity for TMMNA. "Ultimately, though, it was made possible by the excellent quality of a growing group of minority suppliers."

Earlier this year, Toyota announced the company was inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) in recognition of more than $1 billion in annual spending with ethnic and diverse suppliers. Toyota was one of only two companies inducted into this prestigious organization this year.

"Toyota believes our supply base should reflect the diversity of our customers and our team members," said Seiichi Sudo, president and CEO of TMMNA. "And Opportunity Exchange is a platform where we can actively promote business opportunities for minority owned businesses."

Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in space, served as keynote speaker during TMMNA's Opportunity Exchange at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky.

Ms. Jemison blasted into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, September 12, 1992, the first woman of color to go into space. She is the founder and president of two technology companies and is currently building a new business, BioSentient Corporation, a medical technology company.

TMMNA's Opportunity Exchange, now in its sixteenth year, is a forum designed to provide minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the nation the chance to network and develop relationships with more than 275 of Toyota's suppliers. Toyota's Tier I suppliers, those who supply parts directly to Toyota, attend the event as exhibitors for the purpose of doing more business with minority-owned companies. Toyota expects more than 700 MBEs to attend today's event. Opportunity Exchange has grown to more than 1,700 participants and more than $100 million in new contracts through last year.

By 2008, Toyota will have the annual capacity to build 1.81 million cars and trucks, 1.44 million engines, and 600,000 automatic transmissions in North America. The company's direct employment is 38,000, with direct investment of nearly $16.3 billion. In addition, Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $26 billion. Toyota's North American-produced vehicles include the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, and the Lexus RX330.



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