Toyota will begin exporting U.S.-assembled Venza crossover vehicles to Russia and Ukraine via the Port of Brunswick, the automaker announced Tuesday.
"This new partnership with Toyota highlights the Georgia Ports Authority's commitment to unparalleled service for automakers," said GPA executive director Curtis Foltz. "Because of our direct interstate access and two Class I rail services, we can move exports from inland factories more efficiently, as well as move import cargo to destinations across the Southeast."
GPA's Colonel's Island Terminal at the Port of Brunswick handled a record 612,489 auto and machinery units in 2012, up from 497,404 in the previous year. Toyota is a new client for the GPA. The Port of Brunswick handles approximately 10 percent of all U.S. roll-on/roll-off trade, and 12 percent of U.S. rolling imports. The port ranks third in the nation for auto and machinery trade, serving nearly two dozen domestic and foreign carmakers, as well as heavy equipment producers.
"Our facilities provide a transportation hub that is second-to-none in the United States," said GPA board chairman Robert Jepson. "At Georgia's deepwater ports in Brunswick and Savannah, ocean, road and rail come together to ensure that commerce is handled efficiently, environmentally responsibly and at the lowest cost possible."
The Venza shipments, beginning this year, are expected to build upon Toyota's all-time record export of more than 124,000 U.S.-assembled vehicles to 21 global markets in 2012, an increase of 45 percent over the prior year.
"We are proud that Toyota's U.S. manufacturing operations are continuing to grow as a key supplier of vehicles for global markets, which is only possible thanks to the dedication and high-quality work of our team members here," said Shigeki Terashi, president and COO of Toyota Motor North America Inc.
"We expect the export of Venza vehicles to Russia and Ukraine will help further solidify our U.S. manufacturing base."
Once production begins in April 2013, Toyota expects to export approximately 5,000 Venza vehicles per year to Russia and Ukraine. These vehicles will be built at the company's Georgetown, Ky., plant, which employs about 6,600 people and represents a $6 billion investment. The Georgetown plant is the company's largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan.
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