Toyota commenced exporting its United States-built Venza crossovers to its distributor in South Korea in October. The carmaker’s Venza exports to South Korea are initially expected to hit around 600 units annually. The matter was announced by Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor Sales USA at the Barclays Capital Global Automotive Conference.
The Venza units are being produced by team members at Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky. The plant is considered as Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan.
It employs around 6,600 team members directly and has created almost 20,000 jobs with vendors and suppliers in Kentucky and other states in the region. The export of the Venza to South Korea marks the first time that the model was sold outside North America. Toyota commenced exporting US-assembled vehicles in 1988, and currently exports to 21 countries around the world.
Toyota’s export of US-assembled vehicles is expected to rise in fiscal year 2012 to a record of over 130,000 units, equivalent to a 52% increase from fiscal year 2011. Toyota started exporting Indiana-built Sienna minivans and Kentucky-assembled Camry sedans to South Korea in 2011. The carmaker is also exporting the Avalon sedan from Kentucky, the Highlander and Sequoia SUVs from Indiana, and the Tacoma and Tundra pick-up trucks from Texas.
Carter remarked that they are proud that the Venza – which was designed, engineered and assembled in the US – has attracted consumers not only in the country but also abroad. He added that the export of Venza vehicles to South Korea helps maintain Toyota’s stable base of US jobs. He likewise said that export was a result of the work of its US team members and its extensive investments across North America.
“We are proud that Venza, designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S., has garnered so much interest not only here, but abroad,” said Mr. Carter. “The export of Venza vehicles to South Korea helps maintain Toyota’s strong, stable base of U.S. jobs, and is the result of the great work of our talented U.S. team members and our extensive investments across North America. We look forward to other opportunities to continue expanding exports from our American operations.”