Created near Tupelo, MS, Toyota's tenth U.S. plant was established to build the Toyota Corolla. When they rolled-off the world's first Mississippi-built Corolla, there was great cause for celebration. REG was there to design and produce the biggest Grand Opening in Mississippi history.
With challenges that included building a production environment within a working manufacturing plant, REG created an unforgettable show that celerbated a milestone for both Toyota and the State of Mississppi.
After the event, one Toyota executive wrote:
"Now that I have partially recovered from our Mississippi event, I wanted to thank you and your REG team for your outstanding support. It was great working with real pros. I know it took an entire team, but you were especially key to making the program go off without a hitch. I've had nothing but positive feedback on the production, and you handled everything graciously and professionally. It was a real pleasure working with you, and I hope our paths cross again. Please pass along our gratitude to your entire team." — Barbara McDaniel, Manager - External Affairs/Government Relations, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America
The project leader at the plant added:
"Thanks for all your hard work. I have received RAVE reviews from everyone on the event. Many said it was the best Toyota line-off they had ever attended — and this came from seasoned team members who have been involved in up to five of these events. Job well done!" — Emily Holland, External Affairs, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi
In front of worldwide media, 2,500 Toyota employees and a host of dignitaries (including Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour), a curtain opened and a sparkling new Corolla appeared, while exciting musical and visual effects framed the moment.
After a nationwide search for the event design and production team, Toyota selected REG, based on our excellent bid and exciting ideas. With the celebration occurring within the factory while cars were assembled, REG tackled numerous unique issues, from adhering to rigid safety standards to working around the manufacturing cycle to install the production.
In addition to producing the event, REG handled the needs of two press conferences — one for English media and one for Japanese — that included specific and different requirements. REG also provided audio and video feeds and infrastructure for a live national TV broadcast from the floor during the event.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour celebrate the moment.
The cermony also included the unveiling of Mississippi's new "Birthplace of America's Music" license plate. Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. affixes the first plate (the vanity logo stands for "Toyota Manufacturing Mississippi - Mississippi 1") onto the world's first Mississippi-built Corolla.
Even for this seemingly simple piece of stagecraft, REG had to be creative in devising a way for the internationally renowned CEO to get this license plate onto the car easily and reliably, while creating a great photo moment.