Toyota will build hybrid powertrains in the USA by 2020

Toyota plans to spend more than $120-million to expand its 2.5-liter engine building capacity at its Georgetown plant, the company announced Tuesday.

In hybrid vehicles, the transaxle takes the place of conventional transmission.

The expansion will not mean any new jobs in Scott County.

The projects are set to begin this year and would be operational in 2020, Japan’s biggest auto company said.

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.

Toyota Motor Corp.is pouring $373.8 million into hybrid powertrain production in the US and, in a first for the company, will produce the powertrains with parts exclusively made in the U.S. The Huntsville, Alabama, plant will also get a significant upgrade to build engines for Toyota’s vehicles built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture.

The Japanese automaker will invest almost $374 million at plants in five states that will build components for the company’s new Highlander hybrid SUV. “This strategy is created to better serve our customers and dealers and positions our manufacturing operations to fulfill their needs well into the future”. Toyota remains the world leader in gas-electric hybrids, surpassing 3 million sales in the USA and 10 million globally.

Toyota says the funds will not result in the creation of new jobs at the Georgetown, Kentucky plant. It “underscores Toyota’s confidence in the capability and global competitiveness of our North American manufacturing”, Jeff Moore, Toyota North America’s senior vice president of manufacturing, said in a statement.

In January, Toyota pledged to expand production and invest $10 billion in the U.S. The latest round of investments brings Toyota almost halfway, or $4.1 billion, toward that commitment.

“West Virginia has a long and productive relationship with Toyota, and this announcement further solidifies the company’s commitment to investing in our state and our workers”, said U.S. Sen.

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