Toyota adding 450 jobs at Huntsville facility

Enlarge ImageToyota's factories in Alabama and Kentucky are about to get a big cash injection from HQ in order to offset potential tariffs.                  Toyota

Enlarge ImageToyota's factories in Alabama and Kentucky are about to get a big cash injection from HQ in order to offset potential tariffs. Toyota

The expansion is also part of national growth at locations in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia. The growth in Huntsville, however, is the largest of those in number of jobs created and investment.

In Huntsville, engine production capacity will increase from 670,000 to 900,000 with the expansion by the end of 2021. Toyota said new engine lines producing 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines will be added. The added jobs are the largest hiring event in the plant's history. Toyota says the money will be used to advance its electrification efforts and create hundreds of new jobs.

In 2017, Toyota announced it was putting $1.33 billion in the Georgetown plant to upgrade to Toyota's New Global Architecture, which uses the same underlying platform across groups of vehicles while the upper vehicle bodies differ by models.

Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, says Alabama's automotive sector is a success story that happened quickly.

Toyota's total West Virginia investment represents $1.4 billion and 1,600 jobs, according to Manchin's office.

The Huntsville facility produces almost one-third of all Toyota engines built in the United States. Last year Toyota and Mazda announced plans to build a $1.6 billion joint-venture plant in Huntsville that will eventually employ about 4,000 people.

"Toyota has been a remarkable corporate partner to the commonwealth for the past 30 years, and we thank the company for its continued commitment to Kentucky".

The plant will also roll out two new engine lines. Past job expansions at the facility have generated about 10,000 applications, Fernandes said.

"We are especially grateful that workers in Central Kentucky will not only benefit from the strong consumer market for SUVs by producing the RAV4 Hybrid starting in January 2020 but also from the Lexus ES 300 Hybrid production this year", U.S. Sen. Doug Jones said in the announcement.

"One-third of Toyota vehicles built in North America are powered by engines produced right here", said Clark.

But, business being business and politics being what they are right now, it also seems likely that Toyota's expansion of its United States production is a show of allegiance to the powers that be in hopes of staving off increased tariffs on the goods that it imports from Japan.

"Toyota Motor Company's announcement that they'll expand their Huntsville engine manufacturing facility is great news for the Tennessee Valley and Alabama", Brooks said in the announcement. "Doubling our production of hybrid transaxles in West Virginia solidifies our facility's role in producing next generation engines and transmissions that will drive the future of Toyota's advanced mobility technology".

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