Toyota pledges its growing investment in US manufacturing
Toyota has been growing its manufacturing presence in the US, where the company has announced its plans to exceed its 2017 pledge to invest $10bn over five years, with a new commitment to reach nearly $13bn over the same period.
The company has announced an investment of nearly $750mn in five different states. The new investments include adding the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (the best-selling SUV in the US), and Lexus ES 300 Hybrid vehicle production at its Georgetown, Kentucky manufacturing plant. The company will also expand its engine capacity at its Huntsville, Alabama facility; double its hybrid transaxle capacity at its plant in Buffalo, West Virginia; as well as undertake a building expansion for additional castings at its Tennessee. Facility, as well as additional castings at its Troy, Michigan facility.
"By boosting our US manufacturing footprint, we can better serve our customers and dealers and position our manufacturing plants for future success with more domestic capacity," said Jim Lentz, Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America.
Here is a breakdown of the investments, totalling $749mn and creating 586 new jobs
Alabama - $288,000,000
In Alabama, Toyota's investment will increase annual engine capacity from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021 to increase product flexibility and better accommodate market demand. New 4-cylinder and V6 engine lines will add 450 new jobs to its Huntsville, Ala., facility, the largest hiring need in the plant's history. The investment also includes a building expansion. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $1.2bn.
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Kentucky - $238,000,000
Toyota's Kentucky vehicle plant, the company's largest globally, will begin production of the Lexus ES 300 Hybrid in May 2019 with annual capacity of 12,000 units while RAV4 Hybrid production will start January 2020 with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. TMMK's 8,000 team members also build Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES models with an annual capacity of 550,000 vehicles. Overall, the plant represents an investment of more than $7bn.
Missouri - $62,000,000
Investments in Toyota's Bodine Aluminum plant in Missouri will provide equipment to produce an additional 864,000-cylinder heads for Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA.) Bodine's 900 Missouri team members currently produce more than 3 million cylinder heads a year, which are made for every Toyota and Lexus manufactured in North America. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $455mn.
Tennessee - $50,000,000
The Tennessee investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double the capacity of hybrid transaxle cases and housings to 240,000 annually. The investment will also provide equipment to produce an additional 288,000 engine blocks a year for TNGA. The plant's 300 team members currently produce 1.7mn engine blocks a year, which supply every Toyota and Lexus manufactured in North America, and 580,000 transmission cases and housings. Bodine will add 13 new jobs to its facility in Tennessee. Overall, the plant represents an investment of $365mn.
West Virginia - $111,000,000
The West Virginia investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double capacity of hybrid transaxles from 120,000 units (Start of Production-2020) to 240,000 units annually in 2021. To meet the production demands, TMMWV will add 123 new jobs to its facility in Buffalo, WV. Overall, the plant represents a $1.4bn investment.
“All this activity I hope shows that we’re a plus factor to the economic national security of the United States,” added Lentz on a conference call. “We believe in America.”