By Paul Rachwal
Wednesday, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:37 pm
 

The U.S.-built Toyota Venza crossover will be exported for sale outside of North America for the first time, with the target market being South Korea. The annual sales are just a drop in the bucket, however, as only about 600 examples per year will be sent overseas.

Up until October 6, 2012, Toyota sold 35,012 Venzas in the U.S., Automotive News reported.

The crossover is built at Toyota's largest plant outside of its home country of Japan, at the Georgetown, Kentucky-based TMMK. It employs about 6,600 directly and relies on some 20,000 jobs from vendors and suppliers in the surrounding area.

The Venza has thus become the latest Toyota to be exported from the U.S. since 1988. Toyota sends vehicles to 21 countries, with total exports for 2012 expected to reach 130,000, representing a 52 percent increase compared to 2011. South Korea already gets U.S.-built Sienna minivans and Camry sedans.

The Venza was introduced in 2009 and can be had with either a four- or six-cylinder engine and either front or all-wheel drive. It was built specifically for the North American market, with most of the engineering work done at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan while the design was entrusted to the Calty Design studios in California.