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10 Million in Georgetown!

Toyota Celebrates 10 Millionth Vehicle Made in Kentucky

First Camry Rolled Off Line at Georgetown Plant in 1988

Employment grows to 7,000, while investment nears $6 billion
May 29, 2014
Toyota Produces First Car at New Kentucky Plant [1988]
[Press release issued by Toyota, see the entire story here]
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (May 29, 2014) – Avery Bussell Jr. always thought he’d be a farmer.  However, with times on the family farm a little tough in 1988, the 22-year-old threw his name into the mix for a job at a new company that was setting up shop 55 miles away – Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK).One small problem: he was one of over 100,000 others who were applying for about 3,000 jobs.“I didn’t think I had a chance to get hired,” Bussell said.  “But, I did, and it changed my life.”

Now, 26 years later, Bussell – a group leader on the plant floor – and 7,000 other TMMK team members are celebrating the 10-millionth vehicle manufactured at the Georgetown, Ky., plant.

“I was worried about my future. I knew Toyota would take care of that; you have that with Toyota – a job for life,” he said.

In a ceremony at the plant today, the “first” Camry that came off the line in 1988 sat next to the 10-millionth vehicle – also a Camry.  Speaking to a crowd that included team members, community supporters and government dignitaries, plant President Wil James noted: “Obviously, these two vehicles are worlds apart in many ways, but, at the same time, identical in others – particularly when it comes to craftsmanship and the care and love that went into their production.”

James should know.  He was hired as a mechanical engineer in 1987, but convinced the company to enlist him as a “group” leader on the production floor so he could better understand its management style – respect for people, consensus building and Kaizen (continuous improvement).

“Many people may be surprised at our growth and the success the past 26 years; I am not,” James said.  “We have the best, most dedicated work force in the world.  It is all about family, working together to make the best product for the customer.”

Kaneyoshi Kusunoki, TMMK’s first president, had similar remarks at the “first-car ceremony” in May, 1988.

“This car is a symbol of our most important company principle – team work.  For this reason, I have declared that our first car shall be preserved forever in Kentucky for our team members.  It is to remind us not only of what we have accomplished today, but, more importantly, what we can achieve in the future through team work.”

The 10-millionth vehicle will have a different fate.  While TMMK’s first Camry was preserved for historical purposes, one lucky team member will get the chance to win the 10 millionth vehicle – a white hybrid Camry – via a blind drawing, which will take place later this summer.

In addition to Camry, the No. 1 selling car 15 out of the last 16 years in the U.S., the Kentucky plant currently produces the Avalon and Venza.  In 2015, the plant will become the first in the U.S. to make a Lexus vehicle – the ES350.  Past models have included the Sienna mini-van and the Solara.  Since inception, Toyota has invested $5.9 billion in the Georgetown plant – its largest in North America.

“I was lieutenant governor when Toyota came to Kentucky in 1986, and, over the years, it has been incredible to watch and assist in the growth that has taken place,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.  “This plant now has 7,000 team members, and we look  forward to continued growth with 750 jobs being added when production starts for the first U.S.-assembled Lexus next year.”

As TMMK neared the 10-million mark, numerous Toyota owners shared their stories.  One such customer, Victoria Walker of Midway, Ky., has gone as far as to include several posts to her blog (Single Sojourner) about her Georgetown-built Sienna, which has over 300,000 miles and a name of its own.

A sample: “She is relentless, tried and true.  She is my hero.  She means the world to me because I see family stamped all over her.  I ain’t lettin’ go, and you wouldn’t either if you turned the key and heard her hum.  Her name is Bessie.”

To James, that is music to his ears.

“For me and every team member, that is what we strive for – stories like that.  That hasn’t changed in 26 years.  The key element is that every car is its own entity – one by one.  Our team members have done a phenomenal job of being able to maintain that original DNA.”

While many customers take their vehicles personal, so do TMMK team members.

“The exciting part is seeing a vehicle you worked on rolling down the street,” said seven-year team member Jovonda Williams, an engineer in Quality Control.  “I feel like I partly own that head-liner,” she said with a laugh, referring to a big piece of her responsibility.

She added: “There is no plan to stop.  How long before we celebrate 20 million?  We’ve got a new vehicle (Lexus) on top of our current mix.  It is a great time to be at Toyota.”

Toyota Kentucky


Welcome to Lexus of Rockford

We’d like to give a big WELCOME to our new Lexus of Rockford sales consultants.  Steve Anderson, Jeff Johnson, and Matt Jeronimus.  Of course we still have the “old timers” Chris Beto and Mike Sartino – these two have been here for quite a few years and have a very loyal client base.  If you’re in the market for a new Lexus or Toyota or any type of used vehicle in Rockford, please give us a shout.  We’d love to hear from you!  You can reach any of us at 815-397-8900.


Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Matt Jeronimus at Lexus of Rockford

Matt Jeronimus

Steve Anderson at Lexus of Rockford

Steve Anderson


Chris Beto at Lexus of Rockford

Chris Beto

Mike Sartino at Lexus of Rockford

Mike Sartino



Taxes and Buying a Car

When purchasing a car, taxes can be tricky.  Taxes vary by State and sometimes by County, Parrish, or City.  Some States tax negative equity while others don’t.  If you’re trading a car in, some States deduct that amount from the taxable total.  If you’re purchasing a vehicle out of State, you’ll either pay your State tax rate at the car dealership (via a reciprocal agreement between States) or you’ll take care of taxes and fees at the DMV or Secretary of State office in your home State.  The Finance / Business Managers at most car dealerships can answer any questions you have regarding taxes when purchasing a new or used vehicle.  At Anderson Toyota and Lexus of Rockford we collect the 6.25% tax that is required in Illinois and the County we’re located in.  Being on the border of Wisconsin, we make sure to let Wisconsin residents know that they’ll only pay their 5.50% tax.

tax rate financing slider

The All New 2013 Rav4 . . . coming soon

The newly redesigned Toyota Rav4 was introduced to the world at this years Los Angeles auto show.

Toyota Press Release:

• All-New Bold, Athletic Design
• Six-speed automatic with Sequential Shift and Sport and Eco Modes
• Class-leading cargo capacity; class-leading eight standard airbags
• Available All-wheel drive with Dynamic Torque Control
• Available Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 28, 2012) –The all-new 2013 RAV4 crossover SUV made its world
debut today at the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Toyota’s fourth-generation
RAV4, the world’s original crossover sport utility vehicle, arrives early next year.
With a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, new six-speed transmission, two-row seating
for five, and a host of available in-cabin technologies, RAV4 offers a nuanced balance of
performance and all-around capability, including class-leading cargo capacity, striking design,
class-leading eight standard airbags, and a compelling array of standard features. RAV4 will be
available in three well-equipped grades: LE, XLE, and Limited.

Performance, Handling, and Efficiency

For 2013, RAV4 will provide a number of powertrain technologies that help deliver an
engaging driving experience. It will feature Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which will produce 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 ft. lbs. of torque at 4,100 rpm. The optional V6 of the previous-generation RAV4 will be discontinued.

Replacing the previous four-speed automatic will be a six-speed transmission with
Sequential Shift. First and second gear ratios will be optimized for around-town performance.
To keep engine revs lower at highway speeds and enhance fuel mileage, fifth and sixth gears
will be overdrives.

RAV4 front-wheel-drive models have received EPA- estimated fuel efficiency ratings of
24 mpg city/31 highway, while all-wheel-drive models are EPA-estimated at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway. A new Eco mode is designed to promote more efficient driving thus helping to
enhance fuel efficiency.

The new RAV4 will provide its active owners a more dynamic drive, with new
technologies like a Sport Mode, enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized
electric power steering. The spring rates have been enhanced, and the shock absorbers have
been optimally tuned to help the vehicles handling characteristics.

RAV4 has a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension and
four-wheel disc brakes. The LE will ride on 17-inch steel wheels, XLE will feature 17-inch
alloys, and Limited will be equipped with 18-inch alloys.

In both front- and all-wheel drive RAV4’s, driver-selectable Sport Mode sharpens
transmission shift timing and action, and throttle response. Calibration of the Electric Power
Steering assist is also modified in Sport Mode, providing a firmer feel and sharper response to
input. When down shifting the RAV4 six-speed automatic transmission in “S” Mode, engine revs
rise with a clearly audible “blip,” adding to the driving experience.

A Toyota first, 2013 RAV4’s with All-Wheel Drive (AWD) will have Dynamic Torque
Control, a system that automatically shifts from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD when
accelerating or when sensors detect wheel slippage.

Dynamic Torque Control has three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto
Mode, RAV4 delivers power primarily to the front wheels under most driving conditions,
switching automatically to AWD only when needed. By only engaging the rear axle and
delivering power to the rear wheels when needed, Auto Mode helps enhance fuel efficiency and
reduce drivetrain wear.

In Lock Mode at lower speeds, RAV4 essentially has a full-time AWD system with power
delivered to all four wheels. At speeds below approximately 25 mph in Lock Mode, up to 50
percent of engine power is sent to the rear wheels, enhancing traction and helping RAV4 “dig”
through sandy or muddy conditions. Lock Mode reverts to Auto Mode when vehicle speed
passes approximately 25 mph.

As on the front-drive RAV4’s, Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response, and
steering response. In RAV4 with AWD, Sport Mode has additional benefits. It can provide
smooth and nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help
enhance cornering performance. Under certain conditions, Sport Mode can automatically
deliver up to 50 percent of engine power to the rear wheels.

In Sport Mode, the AWD system also can apportion power based on input from the
steering angle and yaw rate sensors of the Vehicle Stability Control system. When turning into
and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each of the four corners of the vehicle. Under braking in a straight line in Sport Mode, power delivery to the rear wheels can be momentarily suspended to best leverage the benefits of ABS and VSC.

Exterior Design & Body Structure

The new RAV4’s design achieves strong proportions while conveying the agile and fun
character. Sophisticated and dynamic, the exterior features a progressive silhouette, with a
sleek-sloping roofline and an aggressive character line. The new RAV4’s interior has a
premium, sophisticated look with soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls.

RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with
aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders and boldly proportioned taillights that define
RAV4’s athletic presence.

In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to
a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire will be stored under the cargo
floor. Standard on the Limited grade will be a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver selectable memory height settings.

As on other recently introduced Toyotas, RAV4 engineers paid special attention to
aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight
cases and near the base of the A-pillars. Less obvious are the aerodynamic undertrays
beneath the passenger cabin that help smooth and control airflow.

Following body-engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon,
RAV4’s body structure will include high-strength steel to help achieve several significant goals, including a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light. RAV4 engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames. The weight savings were in part invested in sound deadening materials and an acoustic windshield, helping to create a quiet passenger cabin.

Interior Design & Packaging

The new RAV4’s dash panel is driver-centric and asymmetrical, with primary and
secondary controls all within easy reach. On the passenger side, the sculpted dash panel
creates a sense of airy spaciousness.

RAV4’s dash panel and gauges all feature Clear Blue illumination, which provides crisp
visibility in most ambient light conditions, and a unified, coherent appearance at night.
RAV4 will come standard with a manual tilt/telescope steering column, with the LE and
XLE featuring a urethane steering wheel. The Limited grade will have a leather-wrapped
steering wheel. All RAV4 steering wheels will have controls for audio, Bluetooth® hands-free
phone and audio, and the Multi-Information Display (MID).

All RAV4’s will have driver and front passenger seats with high seatbacks and a slim
back, enhancing rear-passenger knee room. The RAV4 LE driver’s seat is six-way adjustable,
including seat height.

The RAV4 XLE driver and front passenger will ride in premium bucket seats with sport
bolstering, providing ample support of the lower hips, lower torso and shoulders during
cornering. The XLE will have premium fabric with French stitching on the seats and portions of
the dash panels.

The Limited will have the same premium driver and front-passenger bucket seats found
in the XLE but will also come equipped with an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with
memory, plus heaters in the front seat bottoms and seatbacks with two temperature settings
and driver power lumbar. All RAV4 Limited seats are trimmed in high-quality, breathable
SofTex with French stitching. SofTex also covers the center armrest, and portions of the door
and dash panels.

All RAV4’s will feature 60/40 split/fold second-row seats that recline several degrees to
enhance passenger comfort.

In contrast to 2013 RAV4’s compact exterior dimensions, the cargo area is deeper,
larger and easier to access than in the previous generation, with just over 38.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity behind the rear seats. With rear seats folded, RAV4 class-leading maximum cargo
capacity of 73.4 cu. ft.

Privacy glass, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), cruise control, power side mirrors, power
door locks and power windows are standard on all RAV4s. RAV4 XLE and Limited feature dualzone automatic climate control, integrated fog lights, power moonroof with sliding sunshade, and heated outside mirror with turn signal indicators.

In-Cabin Technology, Audio

Standard on all RAV4 models is a Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen.
Significant for this market, RAV4’s Display Audio includes a standard backup camera and
Bluetooth connectivity. When shifted into reverse, the audio display will show the image of what the backup camera captures. The image will include an overlay of positioning lines representing the parking space and approximate distance to obstacles.

XLE and Limited will offer an available GPS Navigation and Entune™ multimedia system
with satellite radio and advanced voice recognition. The Limited grade will also offer an
available JBL® GreenEdge™ Premium Audio with 576-Watts of maximum power, 11 speakers,
and GPS Navigation and Entune.

The Limited grade will offer an available Blind Spot Monitor system (BSM) that operates
when RAV4 is traveling at approximately 25 mph or above. It can be turned off with a
dashboard switch. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver
with a blinking light indicator in the side mirrors. If the turn signal is on when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will warn the driver with a solid light.

The available Blind Spot Monitor incorporates Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which
uses the Blind Spot Monitor radar sensors at the lower rear bodywork of the vehicle. The RCTA
works at speeds between 0 and 15 mph and activates when the vehicle is in Reverse. When
backing up, the RCTA senses vehicles approaching from either direction and provides an
audible warning combined with a flashing indicator in the appropriate outside mirror.


All 2013 RAV4s will have a class-leading eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota,
RAV4 will feature the Star Safety System, which includes Traction Control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking
System, and Smart Stop Technology.

Toyota Lexus traditions

Yesterday, Anderson Toyota Scion and Lexus of Rockford were visited by executives from Toyota and Lexus for the official Grand Opening ceremony for our new facility.  Brian Anderson was presented with the traditional Katana sword. Katana is a symbol of the strength, quality and integrity of the Toyota and Lexus dealer and the strong partnership and continued commitment to the success of the Toyota and Lexus franchises.

This video of our General Manager, Randy Alex, really sums it up – we are here for our customers.  It is because of our customers that we’ve been able to expand and to serve you in even bigger and better ways.

Anderson Toyota.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

This is a great question and the answer can get a little confusing.  The Motorist Assurance Program has put together an article that explains the conditions that can affect how often you have your oil changed ~

“When asked, you may hear answers such as every 3000, 5000 or 7500 miles, or when the vehicle’s oil monitor indicates that this service is necessary. It is no wonder consumers are confused. The simplest answer… well, there is no simple answer! In fact, there is no interval that applies to most vehicles.

The engine serves as the heart of your vehicle, so changing its oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendation is perhaps the single most important thing that you can do to keep your vehicle’s engine running longer. However, you must read these recommendations closely to determine the correct interval; the interval that matches your vehicle’s operating conditions and your driving habits.

The normal interval listed in the owner’s manual applies to vehicles driven under ideal conditions. While you may consider your driving habits and operating conditions quite normal, read the fine print. Some exceptions to Normal driving include:

  • Frequent short trips (less than 10 miles, especially during cold weather)
  • Stop-and-go city traffic driving
  • Driving in dusty conditions, on gravel roads, etc.
  • Driving at sustained highway speeds during hot weather
  • Towing use
  • Diesel or turbocharged engine

These conditions commonly appear in the description of severe service driving.

AMRA/MAP advises that you read your owner’s manual to locate the correct interval.

Although each manufacturer offers different intervals and descriptions, you may find that the proper interval for your vehicle and driving conditions could fall somewhere between 3500 and 5000 miles. What about the 3000 mile oil change myth?

Is that wasting natural resources?

Consider these facts:

  • Oil requires complex additives and detergents to help prevent corrosion and sludge buildup
  • Additives allow oil to flow freely at extremely cold temperatures while also providing protection under extremely hot temperatures
  • Testing shows that at 3000 miles the oil itself still lubricates, but the depletion of critical additives may no longer allow the oil to offer the same protection and benefits
  • Longer intervals may benefit the environment, but perhaps at the expense of engine life
  • Re-refined oils offer an alternative for motorists with concerns about the environment
  • Re-refined oils use the remaining lubricating qualities of used oil, and replenish the depleted additives to create oils that meet the quality of new oil

Proper Maintenance Helps Extend Vehicle Life!

Your driving type or vehicle usage may affect the maintenance intervals below.

You should follow the manufacturer’s service schedule that best matches your vehicle’s operating conditions.

Those recommendations may include:

  • Change your engine oil at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service interval that matches your vehicle’s operating conditions and your driving habits
  • Check your tire inflation pressure monthly
  • Rotate your tires at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service interval or every 6 months/15,000 miles
  • Change the engine air filter annually or when visibly restricted.
  • Inspect Brake System every 12 months/15,000 miles”

Click here to view the full  article

Is it time for your next oil change?  Just click here to schedule your service appointment with Anderson Toyota or Lexus of Rockford.

Camry wins “Most American Made”

Toyota has three models in the top 10 Most American Made category.  According to Chris Woodyard of USA TODAY this is the 4th year in a row that the Toyota Camry has made the top of the list.  Click here for the full article.

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
Updated 2012-07-09 1:51 PM

Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, spoke during a webcast on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011 during the unveiling of the 2012 Camry at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Ky.
By David Perry, AP

Once again, has come to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the Toyota Camry is the most American of all cars — more U.S. sourced parts, U.S. production and U.S. sales.

It was the fourth-straight year that the Camry came in tops in the “American-made” survey. This year, the Ford F-150, the nation’s best-selling vehicle, almost beat it. But in the end, Toyota, Honda and General Motors combined for eight of the 10 vehicles on the list.

“When people think about buying an ‘American’ car, they might just think automatically of the Detroit Three,” said Patrick Olsen, editor in chief at “In reality, this classification isn’t as cut and dry as it used to be.”

He points out that Italy’s Fiat owns a majority stake in Chrysler, despite its status as a Big 3 Detroit maker. More foreign makers are building their vehicle in the U.S. as a way to hedge against a strong dollar.

“U.S. sales are a component of our index for a number of reasons,” said Olsen. “For one thing, it’s safe to say that the more a vehicle sells, the more U.S. workers are involved in production and delivery of the vehicle and the more U.S. dealers are profiting. Additionally, we think it’s valid to give credit for how American buyers embrace a vehicle.”

Here are the 10 most American vehicles and where they’re made:

  1. Toyota Camry, Georgetown, Ky., and Lafayette, Ind.
  2. Ford F-150, Dearborn, Mich., and Claycomo, Mo.
  3. Honda Accord, Marysville, Ohio
  4. Toyota Sienna, Princeton, Ind.
  5. Honda Pilot, Lincoln, Ala.
  6. Chevrolet Traverse, Lansing, Mich.
  7. Toyota Tundra, San Antonio
  8. Jeep Liberty, Toledo, Ohio
  9. GMC Acadia, Lansing
  10. Buick Enclave, Lansing