CHICAGO Toyota Motor Corp. will invest $102 million at its West Virginia engine plant and aluminum casting facilities in Missouri and Tennessee to meet increased consumer demand.
The Tokyo-based automaker will increase six-speed automatic transmission and assembly capacity by 20,000 units per month at its Buffalo, W.Va., engine plant in early 2015. The $90-million investment in Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. will boost output to 740,000 transmissions per year from 500,000 units.
Toyotas West Virginia operation, which employs 1,300 people and builds transmissions for the Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Lexus RX350, Sienna and Venza, has expanded eight times since opening 15 years ago. The project will create more than 100 jobs, the company said.
Bodine Aluminum Inc., a Toyota casting part manufacturing facility, will invest $11 million at its Troy, Mo., plant and $1 million in Jackson, Tenn., to provide transmission cases and housing parts to the West Virginia operation. Bodine will hire 25 additional workers in Missouri.
"This capacity increase helps us meet growing North American demand and is a part of our localization strategy to build where we sell," Millie Marshall, senior vice president of manufacturing and administration at the Buffalo factory, said.