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March 15, 2019 4:00 PM, EDT

Toyota Boosts Investment in US Manufacturing to $13 Billion, Adds Another 600 Jobs

ToyotaStefan Wermuth/Bloomberg News

Back in 2017, Toyota said that it would invest at least $10 billion over the course of the next five years in its U.S. manufacturing presence. Now, the Japanese automaker is saying it will exceed that goal in announcing a new commitment of $13 billion in the same timeframe.

The automaker reported March 14 that this would add 600 jobs stateside, and that it would also help move production of the hybrid versions of the RAV4 and Lexus ES Hybrid to its Kentucky plant. With this expanded investment, Toyota says that it will see increases and building expansion at its plants in Huntsville, Ala.; Buffalo, W.Va; Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn.

President Donald Trump celebrated the news March 14 with a tweet saying that the “USMCA is already fixing the broken NAFTA deal.”

“These latest investments represent even more examples of our long-term commitment to build where we sell,” Jim Lentz, CEO for Toyota in North America, said in a March 14 news release.

“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 automaker broke down how this expanded investment — and the initial one — would change operations in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia and more.

Alabama will receive $288 million, which will increase its annual engine capacity from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021. The addition of the four-cylinder and V6 engine lines will see the addition of 450 new jobs, according to the automaker.

The company’s Kentucky plant — Toyota’s largest vehicle plant globally — will see $248 million bring the production of the aforementioned hybrid RAV4 and Lexus ES. The annual vehicle capacity at the Kentucky plant will increase to 550,000.

In Missouri, the automaker will invest $62 million that will help it produce 864,000 more cylinder heads each year. Currently, the team of 900 in Missouri produces more than 3 million annually.

As for West Virginia, Toyota says a $111 million investment will reportedly help double its hybrid transaxles annual capacity from 120,000 to 240,000. To meet these needs, the automaker says it will bring 123 new jobs to the facility in Buffalo, W.Va.

All of this comes on top of the previous investment of $10 million, which saw a joint-venture with Mazda lead to a new U.S. plant, 4,000 more jobs in Alabama, and a $600 million transformation project on its Indiana plant.

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