Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown is celebrating its 10 millionth vehicle.
"Oh what a feeling it has been..." former governor Martha Layne Collins began her remarks at Thursday’s ceremony by echoing the car company’s slogan from the 80s.
Back when Collins first welcomed Toyota to Kentucky, the only model in production at the plant was a white, boxy, four-cylinder Camry.
"We thought it was very difficult at the time and it was for us, but looking back on it it was very simple because every car was the same," says Avery Bussell, a group leader on the plant floor.
Bussell was one of the 100,000 people who applied for the first 3,000 at the plant 26 years ago. Now he finds it hard to imagine his life without Toyota.
"Sometimes we forget. We're busy here making the cars each and every day, doing our jobs. This brings us [back] to reality and shows us how important it really is," he says.
Thursday’s event marked a bit of good news for a company that has weathered a series of recalls starting in late 2009. Expenses such as a $1.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department earlier this year have put a dent in profits, but vehicle sales are up.
As for that 10 millionth car, it will wind up in the driveway of one lucky TMMK employee.