Toyota said Friday that it will be expanding its engine-building plant in Huntsville, Ala. The Japan-based automaker plans to add $80 million more to the facility and to bring in at least 125 new hires.
The plant, called The Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility, is known popularly as the TMMAL. It cranks out more than half a million engines every year. currently, the plant makes V6 and 4-cylinder engines for the Camry, Highlander, RAV4, Sienna and Venza models. It also makes V6 and V8 engines for the popular Tundra and Tacoma pickups.
3.5 liter V6 ‘2GR’
The expanded construction will add a 300,000 square foot building, which will be entirely dedicated to making the 3.5 liter V6 “2GR” engine. The popular engine is currently being built at the automaker’s motor-making facilities in Kentucky and West Virgina.
Begins in spring of 2014
The expanded production schedule will begin in nearly two years, starting in March of 2014. Currently, the TMMAL facility makes about 500,000 engines a year. After the expansion, it will add about 216,000 units to its output. At that point, between its three U.S. motor plants, Toyota will be turning out more than 1.4 million engines a year.
When all is said and done, Toyota will have more than $700 million invested into the facility, and it will be supplying livelihoods for more than 1,150 workers.
‘A dedicated corporate citizen’
The state of Alabama is pleased with the expansion. The state’s Governor, Robert Bentley, said:
“Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama has been a dedicated corporate citizen in Alabama for more than 10 years, and today’s announcement is an exciting new chapter for this company and this community. Toyota’s success in Alabama is a testament to the hard-working men and women of the production and leadership teams who have dedicated themselves to producing quality products. This expansion is also a testament to the business climate we’ve worked hard to create in Alabama – a climate in which companies are encouraged to expand, innovate, and create new jobs.”
Infusion to U.S. economy
Like many foreign automakers, Toyota has attempted to make as much of its U.S.-sold vehicles on American soil as possible, allowing them to be advertised as “American Made.” While that may seem misleading or underhanded to some, the American economy benefits greatly from the building and from the sales of these vehicles.