Toyota Plowing Money and Jobs Into U.S. Operations

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
toyota plowing money and jobs into u s operations

There’s no idling of plants at the Big T. With news of electrified versions of the RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus ES heading to Kentucky for the first time, Toyota is set to invest a further $749 million into its American operations, adding hundreds of jobs across five states.

This builds on a commitment made by the company a couple of years ago, one in which it pledged to invest about $10 billion (with a “b”) by 2021. Those of you with sharp memories will recall that’s the year a new manufacturing facility is scheduled to open, one which marks the start of a joint venture with Mazda and the creation of 4,000 jobs in the great state of Alabama.

As for today’s announcement, the company’s Alabama operations grabs the lion’s share of that money, as well. Toyota’s investment of $288 million will increase annual engine capacity from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021, increasing product flexibility and accommodating market demand. New four-banger and V6 engine lines will add 450 new jobs at its Huntsville facility, allegedly the largest hiring need in the plant’s history. The investment also includes a building expansion.

Folks in Kentucky will be the beneficiaries of $238 million in new funding, more than enough to purchase several buckets of extra tasty crispy entrees prepared by a man wearing a white seersucker mainsail. Toyota’s Kentucky vehicle plant, the company’s largest globally, will begin production of the Lexus ES 300h hybrid in May 2019 with annual capacity of 12,000 units, while RAV4 Hybrid production starts in January 2020 with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. TMMK’s factory workers also build Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Lexus ES models, with an annual capacity of 550,000 vehicles.

This gives us some insight into the type of volume Toyota expects to see out of its new RAV hybrid. Last year in America, the company found homes for 427,168 new units. The bullish capacity means the company either truly expecting one in four RAV customers to choose electrification, or bets are being hedged for future variants.

Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia (COUNTRY ROAAADS! *ahem, excuse me*) also get a slice of this new money pie to the tunes of $62, $50, and $111 million bucks, respectively. Toyota’s cylinder head plant in the Show Me state will now be able to crank out an extra 864,000 of the things for cars on the company’s TNGA platform, while factories in the Volunteer and Mountain states (why do these ridiculous nicknames exist?) can now make scads more transaxle pieces for hybrids. Presumably, this has something to do with those bullish numbers listed above.

Currently, Toyota says it employs more than 37,000 people, operates 10 manufacturing plants, and houses about 1,500 dealers in this country.

[Images: Toyota]

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  • Charliej Charliej on Mar 15, 2019

    Comments from right wing morons encourage unhinged murderous lunatics whether you will admit it or not.

    • See 1 previous
    • Hummer Hummer on Mar 17, 2019

      It’s not the “right wing morons” fault that leftist get so triggered from words that they go on killing sprees. There I admitted it, reasoned discussion caused radical individuals to go on killing sprees. Reopen state run mental health facilities, a lot of people should not be allowed in the general populace.

  • Charliej Charliej on Mar 15, 2019

    Sorry dude, but I am not a murderous right wing moron. Actually I am not any kind of murderous moron. I am kind of peaceful if you come right down to it. Since I am in my mid seventies I am too old to fight but not too old to shoot. However, I don't do things like that. I leave things like that to Trump supporters and white supremacists. White supremacists claim to be supreme. And they are supreme compared to various types of bugs and earthworms. Compared to other humans, white supremacists rank pretty far down the scale.

  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉