Minority-owned suppliers will get at least $600 million worth of business from Toyota Motor Corp. this year. Toyota also will buy at least $100 million worth of services from other minority-owned businesses.
Toshiaki Taguchi, president of Toyota North America Inc., revealed the investment figures at a press conference in New York, where he announced the formation of a North American diversity advisory board.
Taguchi says the 7-person board, to be chaired by former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, is part of a 10-year $7.8 billion sourcing and job-training program.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson criticized Toyota last spring for a lack of diversity in its dealer network, executive ranks and suppliers, among other areas.
Doug West, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., says the formation of the diversity board is not a confession of past misdeeds but an acceptance of a challenge to look at its diversity efforts. Board members will convene quarterly and meet annually with top management.