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Minority council makes Toyota 'Corporation of the Year' again

Toyota won a big honor this week: For the second time, it was named "Corporation of the Year" by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The award recognizes the Japanese car company's "continued commitment to minority suppliers and diverse communities."

The award – presented Friday at a conference in Atlanta – acknowledges Toyota's leadership in promoting supplier diversity in every facet of the automotive business.

“Toyota is honored to receive this award ... for our efforts to support minority business inclusion and to partner with the organization for more than 20 years,” said Shigeki Terashi, president and COO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.

“Our company’s foundation – The Toyota Way – is built on continuous improvement and respect for people and this award reinforces our desire to find ways to strengthen and improve our processes, especially through supplier diversity.”

Toyota was tapped for the honor by a national committee of minority business owners, for its commitment to maintaining a supplier base that reflects the diversity of its customers and the diversity of team members who build and sell Toyota vehicles in North America.

“This recognition is reserved for corporations that fully embrace the value that minority suppliers bring to the corporate supply chain,” said Joset Wright, president of the development council.

“Toyota’s commitment to supplier diversity and minority supplier development is firmly embedded in the corporate culture. Its comprehensive, world-class supplier diversity process is worthy of replication.”

Toyota has a $1 billion commitment to partnering with minority-owned businesses. The company is dedicated to reflecting the many different cultures, backgrounds and outlooks of its customers and the communities in which they do business.

“I take great pride in my more than 10 years business partnership with Toyota,” said Berto Guerra, chairman and CEO of Avanzar Interior Technologies.

“Toyota has provided my company the support and opportunity to help ensure the growth vitality of my business and the community of San Antonio.”

Toyota last won the award in 2004, when it was a co-Corporation of the Year. This is the first time Toyota has collected the honor outright.

Hawke Fracassa covers the auto beat for TN from Detroit. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Toyota