We had the opportunity to visit the first wholly-owned manufacturing facility in the United States. A wholly-owned company is one whose common stock is 100% owned by another company, called the parent company. The Toyota plant in Georgetown, Kentucky is the largest Toyota plant outside Japan, and they build over 500,000 cars a year. The company has over 7,000 employees and has its own credit union, daycare, gym, and pharmacy.
The tour began at the visitor center of the Toyota Plant where we were allowed to take pictures of items inside the building. When the tour begins, they take any picture-taking devices including all cell phones, iPhones, and digital cameras. Then they take you into a large conference room to view a ten-minute video about the factory. After the movie, everyone is divided up into small groups, and guides lead you through portions of our 7.5 million square foot facility via an electric tram.
The tour takes you from start to finish of the vehicles, from stamping to a finished product. We got to see how cars take shape with the huge coils of rolled-up steel, how stamped pieces are put together, and huge computer-controlled robots that complete the body shell. You drive back and forth through the production line where you see some of the 7,000 workers doing their specific job (which has to be done in 54 seconds). As you look above you can see the car’s conveyors transport the cars from paint to the final line in assembly. It’s amazing and hard to just focus on one thing as you zip around the factory.
We give this tour four and a half popcorns out of five. The headphones kill your ears after 30 minutes, and it’s sometimes hard to hear, but the tour is FREE. The girls thought it was a really neat tour and asked a lot of questions. After the tour Hugs wished you could ask questions during the tour. I would recommend this to anyone. It is an excellent tour and so much to see in an hour. We actually got to see the new 2015 Toyotas coming off the line. Cell phones that take photos, cameras, handbags, book bags, briefcases, purses, bags, and backpacks are not allowed on the tour. Children traveling with families must be in first grade or above to take the tour. Visitors must also present a valid photo ID. School groups must be at least fourth grade and above. Reservations are strongly encouraged! For reservations, call the Toyota Tour Line at 502-868-3027 or 1-800-TMM-4485.
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