News Column

Toyota Sets $1 Billion Minority Business Spending Goal

November 25, 2002

Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc. expects its minority business spending to rise significantly from years past and exceed $1 billion by 2005, according to a news release from its Annual Opportunity Exchange.

The Opportunity Exchange is a forum that gives minority business enterprises (MBEs) from across the nation the chance to network with Toyota's Tier I suppliers — those businesses that supply parts directly to Toyota.

This year, more than 500 MBEs were at the Nov. 13 event, at which former Transportation and Energy Secretary Federico Peña was the keynote speaker.

"Since the first Opportunity Exchange in 1990, the event has grown from $350,000 in resulting Tier I-MBE contracts to nearly $60 million in new contracts through last year," Téresa Hudson, supplier diversity coordinator for TMMNA, said in the release.

When the company first announced diversity supplier targets in 1997, it said that it wanted to hit a 5 percent direct target for Tier I suppliers by 2002. The company ended up hitting that goal a year early and subsequently said that purchases from minority-owned businesses would exceed 6 percent in 2002.

The newest targets set a goal of 7.5 percent in annual minority Tier I purchases. When Tier II requirements are added to this goal, minority business spending will surpass $1 billion by 2005, the release said.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America is based in Erlanger, Ky.

Source: © 2002 American City Business Journals Inc.

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