Toyota Motor Corp. announced Tuesday it would invest $374 million at its five North American plants, including $106 million at its Huntsville facility.
In a press conference, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama President David Fernandes said the investment would provide for a complete replacement of the plant's four cylinder engine line. It will also create 50 new jobs.
Others present at Tuesday's announcement included Gov. Kay Ivey, Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison Mayor Paul Finley.
The new engines are part of the company's cost-saving New Global Architecture production strategy to share common parts and components among different vehicles.
“This $106 million investment will enable us to stay competitive globally, build ever-better engines, and respond quicker and more capably to market demands down the road,” Fernandes said. “Continued investment in this plant speaks directly to the quality and dedication of our people, as well as the local and statewide partnerships we’ve developed. It also further cements our commitment to Alabama.”
Toyota's other announced projects include a $121 million expansion of a 2.5-liter engine capacity at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky, plant, and $115 million to add hybrid vehicle transmission production in Buffalo, West Virginia. The initiative is part of a previously announced plan to spend $10 billion in the U.S.
Toyota also is investing $17 million to increase production of 2.5-liter cylinder heads at its Bodine Aluminum facility in Troy, Missouri. A $14.5 million upgrade at a Bodine plant in Jackson, Tennessee, will accommodate production of hybrid transmission cases and housings and 2.5-liter engine blocks.
"This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them," said Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz.
Toyota Alabama is the automaker’s largest engine facilities globally, producing more than 702,000 engines for the Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tacoma, Tundra and Sequoia in 2016. One-third of the engines in North American-built Toyota vehicles were produced in Alabama. The plant currently produces about 3,000 four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines each day.
— Associated Press reporter John Raby contributed to this report.