- Toyota to Invest $373.8m in Five Plants
Toyota Motor Corporation said on Tuesday that it would invest $373.8m in five manufacturing plants in the United States to produce its first American-made hybrid powertrain.
The automaker said the investment would also be used to roll out Toyota New Global Architecture strategy at its Alabama plant, an initiative that Reuters reported was aimed at reducing the cost of developing new vehicles, partly by using more common components.
Toyota’s announcement comes just days after Mercedes-Benz and Volvo both committed to expanding their production plants in Alabama and South Carolina, respectively.
Since the election of President Donald Trump, several foreign automakers have said they will add jobs and expand production in the US. Those moves come as the Trump administration considers altering or scrapping the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Toyota said it would start production of hybrid vehicle transmissions at its Buffalo, Wyoming facility and expand its 2.5-litre engine capacity at Georgetown, Kentucky.
Its Senior Vice-President, Manufacturing, Jeff Moore, was quoted as saying, “This latest wave of investment represents our efforts to localise production of hybrid powertrains to the US.”
According to the automaker, Toyota will modify its plant in Jackson, Tennessee to accommodate production of vehicle transmissions while its Huntsville, Alabama plant will undergo an upgrade enabling it to build engines complementing its strategy.
The projects were set to begin this year and would be operational in 2020, Toyota said.
Early this year, Toyota’s Chief Executive Officer, Akio Toyoda, pledged $10bn in investments to expand production in the US. About $1.6bn of that investment will go toward a final assembly plant the automaker plans to build in a partnership with fellow Japanese automaker Mazda. The location for that plant has yet to be selected, according to the report.
“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.