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Toyota expands automobile exports from US

Keywords: Tags  Toyota Motor Sales USA, Bob Carter, exports, automotive, Venza, Camry, Highlander, Sienna corinna petry

CHICAGO — Toyota Motor Corp. has begun exporting American-built Venza crossover vehicles to its distributor in South Korea, according to Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. senior vice president Bob Carter. The automaker plans to export about 600 Venzas annually.

Shipments from Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky., facility—the automaker’s largest manufacturing facility outside Japan—began last month, Carter said. It is the first time the U.S.-built Venza has been exported outside North America.

The Toyota City, Japan-based automaker began exporting U.S.-built vehicles in 1988 and now ships them to 21 countries. Such exports are expected to total 130,000 vehicles this year, a 52-percent increase from 2011 and an all-time high for the automaker.

The company began exporting Indiana-assembled Sienna minivans and Kentucky-assembled Camry sedans to South Korea last year. It also exports the Avalon sedan and Highlander and Sequoia SUVs from Indiana and Kentucky and the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks produced in Texas.

U.S. exports help to "maintain Toyota’s strong, stable base of U.S. jobs," Carter said. "We look forward to other opportunities to continue expanding exports from our American operations."

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