Moving forward in Georgetown: A Toyota timeline

Taking a drive down memory lane,or Georgetown's Cherry Blossom Way in this case, to relive the past 25 years of Toyota in Central Kentucky

May 1, 2011 

December 1985: Toyota announces Kentucky will be the location of its first wholly owned U.S. automotive manufacturing facility. The company already operated a plant as a joint venture with General Motors in California.

January 1986: Kaneyoshi Kusunoki is named the plant's president.

May 1986: Ground is broken.

November 1987: Power train plant is announced.

May 1988: A ceremony celebrates the first car produced, a 1989 model of the second-generation Camry.

July 1988: Volume production begins.

December 1988: Fujio Cho is named president of the plant.

June 1991: Construction begins on the plant's second assembly line.

September 1991: The plant begins producing the third-generation Camry.

January 1992: Toyota announces expansion of power train operations to produce V6 engines.

February 1993: On-site child care center opens.

October 1993: The plant produces its millionth Camry.

March 1994: Production begins on the plant's second assembly line.

August 1994: Start of V6 engine production.

September 1994: Start of first-generation Avalon production.

October 1994: Mikio Kitano is named plant president.

May 1996: Toyota donates $1 million to the Kentucky Historical Society to build a history center in Frankfort.

September 1996: 2 millionth vehicle produced and start of fourth-generation Camry production.

October 1996: Toyota expands its presence in Kentucky by establishing its North American manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger.

August 1997: Start of Sienna minivan production.

June 1998: Masamoto Amezawa named plant president.

August 1999: Some of the plant's paint shop workers sue, claiming they should be paid for the time it takes to don suits and walk to their jobs.

September 1999: Start of second-generation Avalon production.

April 2001: Gary Convis is named the first American president of the plant.

July 2001: Start of fifth-generation Camry production.

July 2002: The plant produces Toyota's 10 millionth North American vehicle.

December 2002: Production of the Sienna is transferred to a Princeton, Ind., plant.

July 2003: Start of second-generation Solara production.

February 2004: Start of Solara convertible production.

December 2004: Start of third-generation Avalon production.

May 2005: Toyota announces the plant will build a Camry Hybrid.

February 2006: Start of sixth-generation Camry production. The company also announces it will offer $4.5 million in back pay to settle the dispute with some paint shop workers. The bulk accept the settlement, but the case is continued by others.

April 2006: Manufacturing and research and development headquarters for North America are consolidated in Erlanger.

June 2006: Steve St. Angelo is named plant president.

March 2007: Toyota gives $1 million to the University of Kentucky to support a new research institute in engineering.

August 2007: The plant announces that to help control costs, its workers will have to pay premiums for insurance for the first time.

November 2008: Start of first-generation Venza production. The company cuts some temporary workers as the economic downturn affects automotive sales. It does not lay off any permanent employees over the time.

February 2009: The company announces pay cuts for executives and reduces bonuses for assembly line workers, as it seeks to combat the effects of the recession.

August 2009: Plant builds its 8 millionth vehicle.

September 2009: Toyota announces massive recall, one that will grow to be the largest in U.S. history, that includes the Camry and Avalon.

January 2010: Toyota announces it will idle one of its assembly lines in Georgetown as it investigates the cause behind recalls linked to sticking gas pedals.

July 2010: Wil James is named plant president and succeeds St. Angelo, who had been named Toyota's chief quality officer for North America.

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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