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Toyota Celebrates 20 Years in Indiana, Governor Buys One

Gov. Eric Holcomb left with a new Sequoia, and with optimism the plant will be here for years to come.

PRINCETON, Ind.--Toyota celebrated 20 years in Indiana Wednesday, and Gov. Eric Holcomb bought the five millionth Toyota manufactured at the Princeton plant. 

It passed the leg test

"It passed the leg test, and I had no doubt," said Holcomb, who is a tall man. "I sat in the front seat and the back seat."

Holcomb bought a new Sequoia, platinum edition. His office paid full price for the SUV, which replaces the Sequoia that has over 200,000 miles on it. 

A testament

The plant started building in Gibson County in 1996. Toyota's local president said she believes the plant will be in Indiana for at least another 20 years.

"To me it's a testament that we'll be here another 20 years, another 50 years, another 100 years," said Millie Marshall. "We'll continue to get better. Our team members will continue to have their ideas and ways for us to get better."

The work is not just making cars

One of those ways may be the volunteer work and the community partnerships they've formed. During Wednesday's celebration, some Gibson County non-profits got $15,000 from Toyota. One of those was Play for Kate, an organization that educates kids on ATV safety.

"It's gonna save more kids lives. It's gonna help us reach that goal of zero preventable deaths on ATVs," said Ashley Bruggenschmidt, with Play for Kate.

Holcomb said he believes Toyota's longevity in Indiana has been dependent on the quality of the vehicles the plant produces and the work the company does in the community.

"Even in the tough years, when a lot of people were stalling or halting production, Toyota was fanned out in the communities doing volunteer work."

PHOTO: Gov. Eric Holcomb

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