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Toyota to spend $1.3 billion overhauling Kentucky Factory

Discussion in 'Toyota Passenger and Sports Car' started by MG, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. MG

    MG Moderator Staff Member

    Toyota will spend more than a billion dollars to overhaul its largest production plant in the world, the Japanese automaker announced Monday.

    The $1.33 billion investment in the auto giant's Kentucky factory, which employs 8,200 people, will help the plant make Camrys more efficiently and will speed up production timelines in the future through a more nimble, higher tech development process, the company said.

    "Toyota New Global Architecture is about exciting, ever-better vehicles for our customers as it will improve performance of all models," Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said in a statement.

    The upgrades are part of the company's plans to invest $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, and add to the almost $22 billion Toyota has spent in the U.S. over the past 60 years.

    Kentucky officials said Toyota's contributions to the state's economy have been crucial. Besides the Camry, the plant also makes Avalons, Venzas and the Lexus ES 350. It produces about 450,000 vehicles a year.

    "Toyota is a global icon," Gov. Matt Bevin said in a statement. "This $1.33 billion investment is further proof of their commitment to producing American-made cars that are among the finest quality found anywhere in the world."

    Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, too, thanked Toyota for its more than 30-year commitment "to the Commonwealth."

    The announcement comes as global companies with big stakes in the U.S. economy scramble to highlight their commitments to employing Americans in hopes of staving off any friction with President Donald Trump.

    Trump has sent stock prices tumbling with Tweets -- some of which have contained inaccurate information -- scolding companies for moving jobs out of the country or praising them for boosting employment stateside.

    The president said in a statement that Toyota's investment is a sign manufacturers are responding.

    "Toyota's decision to invest $1.3 billion in their Kentucky plant is further evidence that the economic climate has greatly improved under my administration," the statement said.

    recent study by the Center for Automotive Research that the company commissioned, which found that the automaker directly or indirectly supports the employment of almost 30,000 jobs in Kentucky. The center is a Michigan-based think tank that studies the economic impact of automakers in the U.S.

    The same study said Toyota has invested $2.6 billion in Texas over 14 years and supports 50,000 jobs -- many through its San Antonio truck plant.

    And this year, Toyota will open its $1 billion new North American headquarters in Plano -- a construction project that was an unprecedented and expensive logistical undertaking in and of itself.

    The move has been held up as a shining success for North Texas' economic development strategy, which involves reeling in big corporate employers who bring high-paying jobs and plans to invest a lot of money in new offices.

    Those new offices often anchor vast mixed use developments, which in turn employ more workers and add to the tax base.

    More than 4,000 Toyota employees are expected to move to the Lone Star State from Southern California -- home of its current North American headquarters -- as well as from New York and Kentucky.

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