On Thursday evening, July 6, 2017, we were honored and very excited to attend the official opening of Toyota’s new North American headquarters, located in Legacy West, Plano.[Scroll to the bottom for a video tour of the campus.]
Stepping into the vast lobby we were welcomed by dozens of smiling Toyota team members and a glass of champagne. In giant 3D letters, TOYOTA hangs over the reception desk and beyond that the five-story glass atrium looks out onto a courtyard so big and beautiful it reminds me of the fantastical jungle in Avatar, only less purple. A friend later comments, “I feel like I’m in a Sci-Fi movie.”
Four vintage cars—including a Toyota 2000GT like the one James Bond drove in You Only Live Twice—stand like museum exhibits at the front of the lobby, while two concept cars are raised up on platforms at the back. To one side, a towering vertical garden serves as the most beautiful photo wall I’ve ever seen.
I’m excited to bump into Congressman Sam Johnson and then, seconds later, Emmitt Smith.
The next portion of the evening is a press conference. A moment in Plano’s history so important, so groundbreaking, I’m reminded of the moment Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone.
First on stage is Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, beaming with pride he takes a quick selfie and pulls up his pants to show off his red socks. The audience roars with laughter and applause. “Today is the big bang,” he says.
The big bang continues as Texas Governor Greg Abbot, Toyota Motor North America CEO, Jim Lentz and Toyota Financial Services President and CEO, Mike Groff also take to the stage. The presentation highlights Toyota’s commitment to the future, to sustainability and to our community. The grand finale is the announcement of the winners of the $1 million Toyota Impact Grant, awarded to the newly formed Collin County Mobility Collaborative, made up of Agape Resource and Assistance Center, Family Promise of Collin County, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, and Shiloh Place of McKinney.
It was so exciting I live streamed the entire thing to Plano Profile’s Facebook. You can watch it at the video below, although if you’re more interested in seeing inside One Toyota, scroll down to the bottom for a video of the campus tour.
The sun had started to set as we walked out of the presentation, and as we looked down into the courtyard we saw three tiny cars making a circular tour of the area. One in pink, one in yellow and the other blue, these Sci-Fi-esque vehicles are Toyota i-ROAD concept vehicles intended for use on short commutes.
And then the real show began—aerial dancers. The show speaks for itself, just look at this video:
After that, it was time for a bite to eat, courtesy of Dean Fearing and another glass of champagne. I particularly enjoyed the vegetarian tacos, wild game corndogs and the tequila-infused watermelon popsicles.
But nothing could have prepared me for the tour. Strolling around Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano there was a surprise at every corner—from the two-storey climbing wall to the convenience store and financial institution, to the enormous canteen which opens out into the courtyard. It’s beautiful in ever sense of the word.
Take the tour yourself! Here’s the video:
For more details and more about the official opening of Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano, click here.