The Toyota Camry, a household name in the world of automobiles, has come a long way since its inception. On October 13, 1993, a significant milestone was reached when the one-millionth Toyota Camry rolled off the production line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. (TMM) in Georgetown, Kentucky. This event marked not only the impressive production figures but also the unwavering commitment to quality and excellence. To understand the significance of this achievement, let’s take a closer look at the history of the Toyota Camry.
Developing the Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry’s roots can be traced back to the early 1980s when Toyota sought to create a reliable, affordable, and comfortable family sedan. It was first introduced in 1982 as a replacement for the Toyota Corona. Over the years, the Camry has undergone numerous transformations and updates, cementing its reputation as a practical and dependable vehicle.
In 1986, Toyota made a bold move by establishing Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc. (TMM) in Georgetown, Kentucky, to produce the Camry for the American market. Little did they know that this plant would play a pivotal role in the Camry’s journey to the millionth unit.
One Millionth Toyota Camry
Fast forward to October 13, 1993, and the automotive world witnessed history in the making. The one-millionth Camry produced at TMM marked an incredible achievement for both the automaker and the American workforce. At the time, the Georgetown plant employed 4,700 dedicated employees, and they had every reason to celebrate this momentous event.
What sets the one-millionth Camry production apart is the commitment to quality that remained unwavering throughout the journey. In May of that year, TMM received the Gold Plant Quality Award from J.D. Power and Associates, recognizing it as the top-ranked assembly plant in North America. It was the second time since 1990 that the Georgetown plant had earned this prestigious distinction. TMM president and CEO, Fujio Cho, applauded the workforce for reaching the one-million mark while keeping quality as their number one goal. This dedication to quality has been a cornerstone of the Camry’s enduring success.
The success story didn’t stop at the millionth Camry. TMM continued to grow and expand. The company was gearing up to begin production in its expansion plant, which would further boost total capacity to about 400,000 vehicles annually. Toyota’s relentless pursuit of excellence led to the export of TMM-made Camry sedans and wagons, as well as Corolla sedans from New United Motor Manufacturing, a Toyota/General Motors joint venture in Fremont, California, to more than 20 international destinations, including Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and the Middle East.
Camry Becomes Best Selling Car in the USA
In 1992, the Camry was Toyota’s bestselling vehicle in the United States, with over 286,000 units sold. The Camry’s popularity with American consumers showcased its blend of reliability, comfort, and affordability.
The Camry’s success story extends beyond production numbers. The Georgetown plant’s annual parts purchases from 174 U.S. suppliers had reached over $1.5 billion, signifying its significant contribution to the American economy.
The journey of the Toyota Camry from its early days to the production of the one-millionth unit in 1993 is a testament to Toyota’s commitment to quality and the hard work of its American workforce. The Camry continues to be a beloved car, known for its reliability and comfort. As we reflect on the history of this iconic vehicle, we are reminded of the dedication and excellence that have made the Toyota Camry a household name in the world of automobiles.