Toyota will make a $373.8 million investment in five U.S. manufacturing plants to support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain.
“This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them,” said Jim Lentz, CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “This strategy is designed to better serve our customers and dealers, and positions our manufacturing operations to fulfill their needs well into the future.”
A portion of the investment will also go towards upgrading the Huntsville, Alabama, plant to enable it to build engines that complement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA).
The remainder of the projects include adding new production of hybrid transaxles (hybrid vehicle transmissions) at the Buffalo, West Virginia, manufacturing facility; expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at the Georgetown, Kentucky, plant; increasing production of 2.5-liter cylinder heads at Bodine Aluminum’s Troy, Missouri, plant; and modifying the Bodine Jackson, Tennessee, plant to accommodate production of hybrid transaxle cases and housings and 2.5-liter engine blocks.
The 2.5-liter engines manufactured in Kentucky and transaxles made in West Virginia will be used in hybrid vehicles built in North America such as the Highlander Hybrid manufactured in Princeton, Indiana..
Each of the projects is scheduled to begin this year and all should be operational by 2020.
Toyota estimates 50 new jobs will be created as a result of the investment in the Alabama plant. No net gain of jobs is expected at the Kentucky, West Virginia, or Bodine Aluminum facilities, but the company views its investment as a way to ensure the stability of the plants’ employment levels in the future.
"This investment across five American plants expands capacity for our latest TNGA engines, and localizes production of hybrid powertrains, a core Toyota technology,” said Jeff Moore, senior vice president for Manufacturing. “It underscores Toyota's confidence in the capability and global competitiveness of our North American manufacturing."
These projects, and others previously announced, move Toyota nearly halfway ($4.1 billion) toward its commitment to invest $10 billion in the U.S., as announced by Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda in January 2017.