Toyota Mississippi wins group's top honor

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Eight months into production, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi employs some 2,000 workers and is cranking out about 600 cars a day.
Having started operations in October, Toyota’s newest automotive assembly plant in Union County earned some recognition for its efforts Monday.
The plant won the 2012 Award of Excellence from the Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association at the group’s meeting at the University of Mississippi.
“The Award of Excellence goes to a company who goes above and beyond,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, who helped give the award to TMMMS Vice President of Administration David Copenhaver. “Toyota has helped Mississippi become a major contender in the Southern Automotive Corridor.”
The award has been given since 2007.
“The award is presented annually to the company that supports the association’s mission,” said MAMA President Kevin Logan. “MAMA was formed in 2004 to provide a forum for interaction among automotive manufacturing companies in Mississippi. The organization serves its members by promoting the growth, development and improvement of the automotive industry.”
Monday’s ceremony took place at Ole Miss’ Center for Manufacturing Excellence, whose founding was spurred by Toyota’s decision to come to Northeast Mississippi five years ago.
Copenhaver said the award belongs to many people, not just one person or one facility.
“This recognition is for all the people who worked hard to bring Toyota to Mississippi, and of course all the team members and others who helped get the plant running,” he said. “This award recognizes all of them and the role they continue to play.”
dennis.seid@journalinc.com