SAN ANTONIO – Toyota officials welcomed the first direct, tier-one, Hispanic woman-owned supplier to their team, a move officials say will rock the automotive industry.
During a mid-morning news conference, Toyota's local plant president Joe DaRosa formally introduced the owner of Forma Automotive LLC, Rosa Santana.
"It gives Toyota great pleasure to welcome Forma to our team," said plant president Joe DaRosa.
Her company will assemble Toyota Tacoma truck beds as an on-site supplier.
Santana said that this is a dream realized through much hard work. The Toyota opportunity, she said, has changed her life and has the potential to change the lives of other Hispanic women.
"As a Latina and an entrepreneur and a small business owner, when you have an opportunity like this it creates a different world for you," Santana said.
The move is good news for the local work force, according to Toyota.
Forma will hire about 50 new people by next June.
Toyota also announced that ASI, a supplier of exhaust systems, will also be coming on board as an on-site supplier.
Meanwhile, Toyota has recalled about 130,000 Tundra pickup trucks, all assembled at the San Antonio plant, because their side air bags might not deploy properly.