General Motors and Toyota have celebrated the 20th anniversary of their joint venture New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California.

“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,” Toyota Motor Corporation president Fujio Cho said.

General Motors chairman and CEO Rick 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.

“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 US, and all nations,” he added.

NUMMI employs 5,700 and produces about 390,000 vehicles annually. It builds the Toyota Corolla, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Voltz (a RHD Vibe currently exported to Japan but due to be dropped in spring due to poor sales) and the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck line.