Toyota’s announcement that it will begin exporting Corollas made in Union County to 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean next year is more good news on the local auto industry front.
The company, which currently employs about 2,000 people at its Blue Springs plant, said it expects to export more than 7,500 Corolla sedans next year. Last year the company exported 124,000 cars from the U.S. to 21 global markets.
Toyota’s U.S. manufacturing operations continue to grow as the cost of producing cars in the U.S. for some markets continues to compare favorably with production in Japan.
Rumors continue to circulate that Toyota will expand its operations at our local plant and will begin production of another vehicle besides the Corolla here.
Toyota’s presence in the area has been a very positive factor in our economy. The only real disappointment is the seemingly slow rate of Toyota suppliers deciding to locate a facility in our area. But we think that will come as operations here continue to expand.
Growth of population in Union County and specifically New Albany also has been slow so far. We think that also will come if we have a welcoming attitude to new families whether they are from a county away or from Japan, and a continued focus on good schools, quality housing and upgraded community amenities.