Kentucky Kicks Off Production of Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) has announced the start of production of the new RAV4, the best selling vehicle in America that isn’t a pickup. Officially, TMMK is handling the hybrid version while other sites — like Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) — takes care of the non-hybridized crossover.
Considering the RAV4 Hybrid just had its best sales year on record, moving 92,525 units in 2019, Toyota’s probably feeling pretty good about its decision. Total U.S. deliveries of the RAV4 hit 448,068 last year, marking another sales record for the brand. The redesigned models (introduced late in 2018) are already everywhere, making one grateful that they don’t necessitate the same cordial acknowledgement expected from motorcyclists and Jeep Wrangler owners. Your arm would be exhausted before making it out of the driveway.
“We are excited to see the past nine months of preparation come to life with the completion of our first Kentucky-built 2020 RAV4 Hybrid,” TMMK President Susan Elkington said in a statement. “This milestone would not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated team members and our recent investments. We are proud to offer an alternative powertrain for each of the products we currently build and couldn’t be happier to add the popular RAV4 Hybrid to that list.”
TMMK specializes in hybrids and currently produces the Toyota Camry, Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES 350, and each of those models’ hybrid variants. It’s Toyota’s largest manufacturing plant, costing over $7 billion thus far and hosting over 8,000 employees.
Upon announcing production of the RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota also reiterated its plan to ensure an electrified option for all Toyota/Lexus vehicles by 2025. It noted around 13 percent of its U.S. volume is already attributable to plug-in or hybrid vehicles, and hopes to bring that number up through 2020.
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