Toyota has plans to make a $1.33 billion investment in its Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) plant-the highest of any automaker in Kentucky and the second-largest in state history.
TMMK will be the first plant in North America to begin producing vehicles using Toyota New Global Architecture. The Camry, from the 2018 model year, will become the first Toyota vehicle made in the U.S. to fully incorporate the new vehicle development and production technology.
“This $1.33 billion investment is part of Toyota’s plan to invest $10 billion dollars in the U.S. over the next five years, on top of the nearly $22 billion Toyota has invested in the U.S. over the past 60 years,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “Toyota New Global Architecture is about exciting, ever-better vehicles for our customers as it will improve performance of all models, including increased fuel efficiency, more responsive handling, and a more stable, comfortable feel while driving.”
Toyota New Global Architecture represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles. In addition, it will shorten the development cycle for vehicle improvements and new vehicles, according to the company. It also allows for a more flexible production environment, which will allow Toyota Kentucky to build ever-better cars, and respond quicker and more capably to customer demands down the road.
TMMK also will undergo other makeovers that will modernize and streamline the production process. That includes updating equipment and construction of an all-new paint shop.
“This is the largest investment in our plant’s history and it speaks directly to the quality of our people and our products, as well as the partnerships we’ve forged in the local community and across the state,” said Wil James, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. “This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive, further cementing our presence in Kentucky.”
Toyota Kentucky is the automaker’s largest plant in the world, employing 8,200 team members. This represents an all-time high after recently adding over 700 people to support the upcoming launch of the 2018 Camry. Last year, TMMK produced nearly a quarter of the total number of Toyota vehicles produced in North America, over 500,000. In total, the plant has produced more than one-third-11 million-of all Toyota vehicles manufactured in North America since 1986.
Today’s announcement adds to the $530 million investment the plant committed to in 2013, in part to support Lexus production. This brings Toyota Kentucky’s investment in the last four years to approximately $1.86 billion.