Toyota Motor Corp. is pouring US$373.8 million into hybrid powertrain production in the U.S. and, in a first for the company, will produce the powertrains with parts exclusively made in the United States.
The investment will be split between five U.S. manufacturing plants, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday. Each new project is slated to begin this year, and should be completely operational by 2020.
"This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them," Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz said in a statement.
New production of hybrid transaxles will begin at the company's Buffalo, W.Va., facility with the support of US$115.3 million, the first time Toyota has made that part domestically.
About US$120.9 million will bolster 2.5-litre engine capacity at the plant in Georgetown, Ky., and US$14.5 million will go toward modifying the company's plant in Bodine Jackson, Tenn., making hybrid transaxle cases, housings and 2.5-litre engine blocks.
The engines built in Kentucky and transaxles made in West Virginia will be used in hybrid vehicles built in North America, the company said, such as the Highlander Hybrid manufactured in Princeton, Ind.
Production of 2.5-litre cylinder heads will also increase at Bodine Aluminum's Troy, Mo., plant with US$17.1 million, and US$106 million will go toward Toyota's Huntsville, Ala., plant to build engines to complement Toyota's New Global Architecture strategy, an initiative aimed to reduce the cost of developing new vehicles, partly by using more common components.
The expansion of the Alabama plant will create 50 jobs, the company said.
"There will be no net gain of jobs at the Kentucky, West Virginia, or Bodine Aluminum facilities," the statement said, "but these investments will help to ensure the stability of the plants' employment levels in the future."
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in January the company aims to invest US$10 billion in the U.S. market over the next five years. These projects, along with some previously announced this year, place the automaker at US$4.1 billion toward that goal.