Toyota boosts USA investments to $13B by 2021, adds about 600 jobs

Marco Green
March 15, 2019

Toyota plans to bring two new engine lines to the Huntsville engine manufacturing plant, which will account for 450 new jobs in Huntsville, officials said Thursday morning. At the time, the average total hourly compensation for jobs at the plant was $45.47 - more than $90,000 a year for 40 hours of work a week, according to state documents.

$288 million for increasing annual engine capacity at Toyota's Huntsville, Ala., facility.

"Last year our 1,400 team members built 630,000 engines, that's pretty unbelievable", said Mike Clark, general manager of manufacturing.

The Huntsville facility produces almost one-third of all Toyota engines built in the United States.

That one was a $115.3 million investment to produce the company's first American-made hybrid transaxles. It also plans to ramp up its US-based engine production, presumably to help with that whole "more hybrids" thing.

Fernandes says production will begin for the new 4-cylinder engine in 2020. Past job expansions at the facility have generated about 10,000 applications, Fernandes said.

They also will create 13 new jobs in the Jackson facility as a result of the investment. While production for the new engine lines won't start until 2020, the plant is going to start filling the 450 needed positions immediately.

Other city and state leaders joined mayor Tommy Battle at the announcement. She was represented by Greg Canfield, the state's secretary of commerce.

No new jobs are being added at the Georgetown plant, but Toyota says they are creating almost 600 jobs across the country as part of their investment in US manufacturing.

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.

"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.

The company got millions in state tax incentives when it upgraded the plant for the new process.

But, business being business and politics being what they are right now, it also seems likely that Toyota's expansion of its USA 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. $500 thousand of that will go directly to Huntsville and Decatur through the "Alabama Network of Family Resources Centers".

"Toyota's major new investment in its Alabama engine factory is a testament to the solid partnership we have formed with the automaker and to the high-caliber workforce it has found in the Huntsville area", Gov. Kay Ivey said in the Toyota press release.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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