TOYOTA Industries Corp. and its divisions had a big reason to celebrate, as did the City of Columbus.

Toyota Material Handling marked the company’s 50th anniversary of selling forklifts in the United States with a celebration Aug. 30. That occurred at the company’s Columbus campus in the Woodside Industrial Park, visited by more than 600 guests from across the country and Japan.

Columbus had reason to celebrate, too, because Toyota’s growth and success has had a positive impact locally.

Toyota has 1.3 million square feet under roof, and operates three assembly lines building forklifts in Columbus — making an average of one about every four minutes.

The company also has grown to be Columbus’ sixth-largest employer with 1,400 employees.

The company’s impact — locally, nationally and globally — cannot be understated. It’s a story of success that’s worth embracing.

The first forklift produced in Columbus rolled off the line of Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing in 1990. The company became the No. 1 forklift brand in America in 2002.

Accompanying that success has been continued reinvestment in Columbus. Toyota’s campus in Columbus has had 13 expansions to accommodate growth, representing $300 million in investment in the campus.

Most recently, Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing announced a $17.5 million investment in the city, representing a 150,000-square-foot expansion. That was unveiled in January at Toyota’s state-of-the-art health and wellness facility, called T+Rex, for Toyota associates and their families.

What this success also shows is a great working partnership between Toyota and Columbus that is mutually beneficial.

That, like the 50th anniversary, is worth celebrating.

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