ANN ARBOR, Mich. (June 20, 2014) — The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued 1,355 patents to Toyota’s innovative engineers and scientists in 2013. The patents issued to Toyota companies further demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to ever better vehicles that achieve new environmental, innovation and safety technological advancements.
Toyota Technical Center, the R&D arm of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has offices in Ann Arbor and Saline, Michigan; recently held their annual innovation awards ceremony at the Inn at St. John’s (Plymouth) to honor last year’s patent recipients. Attendees are excited about the event and are very interested to see who receives the most patents each year. At last year’s event Mindy Zhang, manager-Toyota Research Institute, N.A. and Charon Lota, manager, electronic systems were tied for first with 20 patents each.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Nigel Francis, Senior Automotive Advisor to the State of Michigan. In comments prior to the dinner Mr. Francis said, “The sheer number of patents received by Toyota engineers in Michigan is testimony to the ongoing importance of innovation both within Toyota and the state of Michigan. We are very grateful to have Toyota and its talented workforce in Michigan and glad that Toyota shares our vision that innovation is a strategic imperative in the automotive sector“.
Simon Nagata, TEMA President shared the importance of the continued intentional innovation at TTC, “The automobile and the automotive industry are undergoing technological transformations at an incredible pace. The innovations developed by our TTC engineers and scientists show that we’re not just keeping pace- we’re helping to set the pace.”
For more than 35 years, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, N.A. Inc. has been the driving force behind Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development activities. Established in 1977 and headquartered in Michigan, TTC has R&D facilities in Ann Arbor, Saline, Plymouth and Livonia Michigan. In addition, TTC has two R&D facilities in California and operates the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground near Phoenix, AZ.
TTC is engaged in engineering design, vehicle evaluation, materials research, prototype building, powertrain tuning, safety/crashworthiness, regulatory affairs and advanced research for Toyota and Lexus vehicles manufactured or sold in North America. TTC has engineered and developed the following vehicles Avalon, Camry, Rav4 EV, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra and the Venza.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Toyota’s largest plant in North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) started production in May 1988. The Georgetown, Ky. plant employs about 7,000 full time team members and represents a $5.9 billion investment. TMMK currently produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza as well as four-cylinder and V-6 engines and other engine components. Current annual capacity is 500,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines. Since 1987, TMMK has donated more than $45 million to non-profit organizations throughout Kentucky.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.