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Toyota to add 450 jobs, two new engine lines at Huntsville plant

Photo by Jeff White

 

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (March 14, 2019) – Toyota has made several significant announcements since it first began production in Huntsville in 2003. The company isn’t slowing down, either. In fact, today, it announced its largest expansion to date: two new engine lines, one to produce 4-cylinders and another for V6 engines. This will increase the plant’s production volume by 35 percent by 2021.

The $288 million investment comes with 450 new jobs, the largest hiring need in the plant’s history. The project also includes a building expansion.

“I’m so proud of our team members and their commitment to building world-class engines,” said David Fernandes, Toyota Alabama president. “It is because of our workforce and statewide partnerships that Toyota has continued to grow and prosper in Alabama. The new engine lines will allow us to respond quicker to customer needs and strengthen our competitive edge in the industry.”

This investment will increase annual engine capacity at the Huntsville plant from 670,000 to 900,000 by the end of 2021, to increase product flexibility and better accommodate market demand. It is the only Toyota plant globally to build 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines under one roof.

This was one of several announcements made by Toyota nationwide. However, Huntsville’s plant expansion carries the highest investment and number of new jobs, increasing total employment to about 1,800. Other plants that announced expansions are in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia.

To date, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama has invested $1.26 billion in Huntsville. It has had seven major investments and five building expansions since breaking ground in 2001. Toyota Alabama currently employs about 1,350 people. As of last year, the Huntsville team reached the incredible milestone of 6 million engines made at the plant.

“The automotive sector in the state of Alabama is a story of tremendous success, and over a very short period of time,” said Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield. “The reason for that success is that we have great corporate partners like Toyota that have become part of the fabric of the state of Alabama. They have become corporate partners that give back to the community.”

“Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama has been the backbone of Huntsville’s advanced manufacturing economy for 16 years,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “This latest expansion, the company’s seventh in Huntsville, signals Toyota’s confidence in our workforce and its commitment to continued investment in this facility.”

The plant occupies 200 acres, and has already grown to 1.1 million square feet. The team produced about 630,000 engines in 2018, including 4-cylinders for the RAV4, Highlander and Corolla, V6 engines for the Tacoma and Highlander and V8 engines for the Sequoia and Tundra.

“We are thrilled to celebrate with Toyota, an incredible partner,” said Chip Cherry, President & CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber. “Not only do they bring good paying jobs, their company and employees also give back to our schools and community. We appreciate all they have done during their two decades here and we look forward to a bright future with more success.”

Student Recognition

Fernandes also recognized students from Calhoun Community College and Alabama A&M University who were in attendance. The students currently participate in workforce development programs supported by Toyota.

“When I look at these students here today, it just makes me more comfortable that our future is bright here at Toyota Alabama.”

Literacy gift

In conjunction with the expansions, the Toyota U.S.A. Foundation announced a $1 million grant to the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) to help break generational cycles of poverty through family literacy. Of that amount, $500,000 will be directly invested in Huntsville and Decatur. This new donation brings Toyota’s total contribution over its 28-year partnership with NCFL to $50 million. To date, 420 Toyota Family Learning Centers have impacted more than 4.5 million parents and children across the United States.

By Claire Aiello
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber
caiello@hsvchamber.org