"NUMMI was Toyota's initiation into North American production. We are very proud to build quality products with GM. Without their partnership twenty years ago, Toyota would not be where it is today," Cho said.
Wagoner stressed the benefits of cooperation. "From the start, NUMMI has succeeded in bringing jobs and economic development to California, in showing that global auto manufacturers can work together and learn from each other, and in demonstrating the value of global trade and cooperation," Wagoner said.
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Amity between the United States and Japan. As such, Wagoner and Cho also stressed that the GM-Toyota partnership has a larger aspect.
"As two of the world's largest auto manufacturers, Toyota and GM have an obligation to promote stability without sacrificing economic growth at home, or access to markets abroad," said Wagoner.
"We need to focus not only on specific actions, like the creation of NUMMI, but also view the bigger picture - the importance of free and fair trade, the value of open communication, and the necessity of political and economic cooperation among Japan, the U.S., and all nations," he continued.
Cho added, "While Toyota and GM are fierce competitors, we also are the largest automakers in our respective countries, together accounting for more than one-quarter of worldwide automotive sales. Consequently, we share a responsibility for taking the lead in meeting the needs of the earth and its people."
NUMMI is the joint venture of Toyota and General Motors. Located in Fremont, California, it employs 5,700 team members and produces about 390,000 vehicles annually. NUMMI builds the Toyota Corolla, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Voltz (for export to Japan) and Toyota Tacoma.