Categorized | Automotive news, BancorpSouth Arena, International, Manufacturing, National, Northeast Mississippi, Toyota, Tupelo

Toyota thanks employees, families at celebration today

You may have noticed the tents and carnival rides next to the BancorpSouth Arena and wondered if the fair has made it to town early.

Nope. It’s part of Toyota‘s “Team Mississippi Appreciation Day,” in which the automaker will throw a little party inside and outside of the arena for the employees and families of its manufacturing plant in Blue Springs and nearby suppliers. Previous Team MS Appreciationcoverage here.

It’s the official line-off ceremony for the new Corolla, which the plant has been producing since August, and which are at dealerships now.

We’ll have photos from the event later, but here’s a release from Toyota, that’s obviously written a little ahead of time, as many press releases are. But you get the picture. It’s a big deal for them (and us):

What’s 47 years old, stunning, and turning heads in Tupelo today?

In front of an estimated crowd of nearly 9,000 people at the BancorpSouth Arena this afternoon the all-new, next generation 2014 Corolla officially made its Mississippi debut at its line off ceremony, featuring an illusionist, aerialists, fire artists and other performers. Attendees included Toyota Mississippi team members and their families, suppliers and invited guests including Miss. Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

The line off celebration was combined with the plant’s Team Mississippi Appreciation Day.

“The Corolla is not built with one part. It is not built by one person. And it is not built by one company. It takes all of us, Toyota Mississippi and our strong supplier support, working together as one team, to produce high quality Corollas,” said Masafumi Hamaguchi, president of Toyota Mississippi.

The all-new 2014 Corolla is assembled by 2,000 team members at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc., located near Tupelo. Five “near-site” suppliers employ an additional 1,300 people.

The Corolla, now in its 11th generation, is the world’s most popular compact sedan and last month sold its 40 millionth unit worldwide.

Immediately following the all-new Corolla’s debut, guests were treated to Team Mississippi Appreciation Day outside of the arena. Rides, games, food, live music, karaoke, a magic show and other fun-filled activities took place.

The all-new 2014 Corolla arrived in dealer showrooms last week.

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