By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, Toyota announced plans to invest $106 million and add 50 jobs at its Alabama engine plant, the latest expansion for the Huntsville facility that is a key part of the automaker’s global operations.
The investment will provide for a complete replacement of the current four-cylinder engine line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, the only Toyota engine plant in the world to produce four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines all under the same roof.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was in Huntsville for Tuesday’s announcement. “We are very grateful that Toyota remains a valued partner to Alabama. This announcement further solidifies the automaker’s long-term commitment to our great state,” Ivey said in a statement.
The plant will build the next generation of engines using Toyota New Global Architecture, which is a new approach to the way Toyota designs, engineers and produces its vehicles. Advanced engines produced using TNGA will have increased power performance, efficiencies and fuel economy, while retaining values such as exceptional quality and safety.
The Alabama Political Reporter asked economic developer, Nicole Jones, about the significance of announcement. “Toyota’s $106 million dollar investment signifies its commitment to Huntsville and the entire state of Alabama. The newly-innovated engine design translates into advanced manufacturing jobs for Alabama, sought-after jobs that provide wages Alabamians can live on with a worldwide company that consistently invests in its workforce and our community,” Jones said.
“Toyota has been a part of Huntsville since 2001 and has invested over $900 million dollars in four expansions. We thank Toyota for their continued presence in Alabama, a presence that highlights Toyota’s important role as our state leads the nation in the automotive manufacturing industry,” Jones added.
“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,” President of Toyota Alabama David Fernandez 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. The company’s continued investment in the state not only deepens its roots here for many years to come,” Fernandez added.
Toyota Alabama is the company’s largest engine facility 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.
This takes Toyota’s total investment in Huntsville to $970 million since it opened in 2001. When the new line is added and Toyota adds the new hires, the automaker’s Alabama facility will have more than 1,400 workers.
“Toyota has had remarkable success in Alabama, and it is a pillar of our booming automotive industry,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said.
“The company’s continued investment in the state not only deepens its roots here for many years to come, but also shows the confidence it has in the local workforce and in the support of the surrounding community,” Canfield added.
According to some reports, Alabama is one of the states being considered by Toyota and Mazda for a new North American vehicle assembly plant.