Toyota to Invest $13 Billion in U.S. Manufacturing Over 5 Years with a Focus on Electric & Hybrid Technology
As U.S. automaker General Motors closes factories and lays off thousands of workers, Toyota is investing billions in the U.S. to expand its production to support new models. The world's biggest automaker announced it will invest $13 billion over five years with a new commitment to new technologies such as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The new pledge is $3 billion higher than the original $10 billion the automaker committed for developing its U.S. manufacturing facilities to support new models.
Following the auto industry trend, Toyota is focusing on building more advanced electric models and plug-in hybrids, including a new hybrid version of the Lexus ES 300. The new investments begin with a $750 million investment in in Toyota manufacturing in five different states.
The new investments include adding the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is the best-selling SUV in the U.S., and Lexus ES 300 Hybrid vehicle production at its Georgetown, KY manufacturing plant.
The Lexus ES 300h hybrid will begin production in May with annual capacity of 12,000 vehicles. Production of the RAV4 hybrid will begin in January 2020 with annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles.
Toyota's Georgetown plant was the automaker's first U.S. plant and it remains Toyota's largest manufacturing site in the world. The facility was established in 1986. The plant currently builds the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350 sedans. According to Toyota, the plant could produce 550,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines annually.
Toyota will also expand engine production at its Huntsville, Alabama factory and double hybrid transaxle capacity at its plant in Buffalo, West Virginia.
"These latest investments represent even more examples of our long-term commitment to build where we sell," said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer for Toyota Motor North America. "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."
The Hybrid version of the best-selling Toyota RAV4 SUV will be built at the automaker's Georgetown plant.
Toyota's already has an expansive foothold in the U.S. with one of the best selling cars ever. The Toyota Camry has become on of the top selling sedans in the U.S. for the past twenty years, claiming the number one spot 19 times since 1997. All Camrys sold in the U.S. are built at U.S. plants.
Toyota added a hybrid option to the Camry sedan in 2006 and began building at the Kentucky plant.
In 2018, Toyota announced a joint venture with Mazda to build an additional plant in the U.S. The $1.6 billion joint investment will create up to 4,000 new jobs in Huntsville with production slated for 2021.
Toyota's Princeton, Indiana plant is already undergoing a $600 million transformation to incorporate Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA) and increase Highlander SUV capacity by 40,000 units.
Toyota's TNGA is a unibody platform that supports multiple vehicle sizes, including front and rear-wheel-drive models, to streamline assembly.
Toyota is adding over 400 employees to its team in Indiana. The upcoming Toyota Corolla will be built on the new TNGA. In Blue Springs, Miss. To support production, Toyota is investing another $170 million and has already announced adding 400 new jobs.
Toyota sold its first car in the U.S. in 1957. By July 1967, Toyota had become the third-best-selling import brand in the United States. In 2000, Toyota launched the Prius worldwide, the world's first mass-produced hybrid car.
Currently, Toyota employs more than 37,000 Americans workers.
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