While General Motors is stopping production at several U.S. plants, Toyota has announced it is ramping up investment in U.S. production by an additional $3 billion, for a total of $13 billion by 2021.
According to the original plan announced in 2017, the Japanese automaker had pledged to invest $10 billion in its U.S. operations over five years. The main goal of this investment plan is to advance electrification, with the company announcing that hybrid versions of the RAV4 SUV and Lexus ES sedan will be built in Georgetown, Kentucky for the first time.
Additionally, Toyota will increase production capacity and build expansions at four U.S. plants in Huntsville (Alabama), Buffalo (West Virginia), Troy (Missouri), and Jackson (Tennessee). Nearly 600 jobs will be added at these plants as a consequence.
Toyota said it would invest nearly $750 million to build the RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus ES 300h at Georgetown, expand engine capacity at Huntsville, double hybrid transaxle capacity at Buffalo, and building expansions at the Jackson and Troy plants. As a result of these investments, it will create a total of 586 new jobs at the five plants.
"These latest investments represent even more examples of our long-term commitment to build where we sell. By boosting our U.S. 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 for Toyota Motor North America.
Broken down state by state, Alabama will get $288 million to increase annual engine capacity from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021. New four-cylinder and V6 engines will add 450 new jobs in Huntsville, Alabama. The investment also includes a building expansion.
Kentucky will receive $238 million to build the Lexus ES 300h hybrid (10,000 units a year) from May 2019 and RAV4 Hybrid (100,000 units a year) from January 2020. In Missouri, the automaker will invest $62 million at the Bodine Aluminum Troy plant to build an additional 864,000 cylinder heads for Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA).
Toyota will invest $50 million at Tennessee’s Bodine Aluminum Jackson plant in a building expansion and new equipment to double the capacity of hybrid transaxle cases and housings to 240,000 annually and manufacture an additional 288,000 engine blocks a year for TNGA.
Finally, West Virginia’s Buffalo plant will get $111 million for a building expansion and equipment to double the capacity of hybrid transaxles to 240,000 units annually in 2021. Production will start in 2020, with 123 new jobs to be added as a result.