May. 11, 2012

Central Motor Co., Ltd.
Toyota Motor Corporation

Ceremony Marks Start of New 'Corolla' Production in Tohoku

Corolla Follows "Aqua" as Second Tohoku-produced New Toyota Vehicle


Ohira, Japan, May 11, 2012―Central Motor Co., Ltd. (Central Motor) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) held a line-off ceremony today at Central Motor's plant here in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, to mark the start of mass production of the new Japan-market "Corolla Axio" sedan and "Corolla Fielder" station wagon. Among those present at the ceremony were Miyagi Prefectural Governor Yoshihiro Murai, Central Motor President Toru Kuzuhara and TMC President Akio Toyoda, as well as representatives from suppliers and dealers.

"This car is the first fully redesigned car to be born in Tohoku, and such an achievement should be commemorated. We hope to fully root ourselves, along with the Corolla, here in Ohira, and in Miyagi", said Central Motor's Kuzuhara.

TMC's Toyoda said: "We hope this new made-in-Miyagi Corolla will put smiles on the faces of our customers throughout Japan and contribute to the vitality of Miyagi and all of Tohoku. For this, let us continue to do our best together, with our hearts as one."

And Murai, who attended as a guest, said: "The fact that the Corolla, which can rightfully be called 'the people's car of Japan', is being built at Toyota's third domestic production center here in Tohoku is of value not only in terms of employment, but also because it is linked to the revival of automobile-related industries, and, furthermore, it has brought us confidence, hope and high spirits."

Starting today, as a symbol of the revival of the Tohoku region, the new Corolla Axio and new Corolla Fielder are on display at Sendai Airport, the gateway to Miyagi Prefecture.

Central Motor opened its Miyagi Plant, which incorporates a wide range of innovative production technologies, in 2011. The plant was created based on a three-pillar concept that focuses on being 1) compact―to concentrate facilities for higher efficiency, 2) flexible―to swiftly adapt to changes in market demand, and 3) harmonious―to exist in unity with the local region, environment and people.

In May 2011, Miyagi Plant began production of the Corolla Axio, and, with the introduction of this new Corolla, it added production of the Corolla Fielder as a way to increase production efficiency.

Central Motor, Kanto Auto Works, Ltd. (Kanto Auto Works) and Toyota Motor Tohoku Corporation are to merge in July 2012 to form Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc., with the goal of "Providing the world's most-attractive compact vehicles".  In addition to the compact hybrid Aqua currently produced at Kanto Auto Works' Iwate Plant, the production of the new Corolla, the quintessential compact car, at Central Motor's Miyagi Plant allows for cost savings, including those through the expanded use of common components.  It also hones the expertise of Toyota's third production center in Japan, through which Toyota intends to further strengthen monozukuri (conscientious manufacturing).