Toyota on Nov. 17 celebrated the opening of an assembly plant in Mississippi with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. It is the Japanese automaker's 14th manufacturing facility in North America.
"Building vehicles where we sell them helps us be even closer to our customers," Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda said at the opening ceremony.
"The U.S. market remains a key to Toyota's overall success, and Toyota Mississippi will play an important role for us here."
The $800 million facility will employ nearly 2,000 people and will build the Corolla, which is the best-selling car of all time.
"Today is a great day for Blue Springs and the entire state of Mississippi," Governor Haley Barbour said.
"Toyota chose Mississippi for its dedicated, talented workforce, and I know they will enjoy great success at their newest facility."
Toyota established its U.S. operations in 1957 and currently produces 12 vehicles in North American, where some 1,800 dealers sold more than two million vehicles last year.
Toyota directly employs more than 35,000 people in North America and its investment is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Its annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals nearly $25 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011