Gov. Matt Bevin today joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. executives and local officials to announce a $238 million investment to add production of two models at the Georgetown plant; the Lexus ES Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid.
“Toyota has been a remarkable corporate partner to the commonwealth for the past 30 years, and we thank the company for its continued commitment to Kentucky,” Gov. Bevin said. “We are immensely proud that the Bluegrass State is home to Toyota’s largest manufacturing operation, and we enthusiastically support this substantial investment to address the rising demand for hybrid vehicles. This significant announcement puts the company in position to better serve its customers for years to come, and we look forward to Toyota, Scott County and Kentucky continuing to grow together.”
TMMK leaders plan to begin Lexus ES Hybrid production in May with capacity of 12,000 units. In fall 2015 the plant became the first US facility to produce a Lexus vehicle when TMMK assembled its initial ES 350. The Hybrid version is currently made in Japan. RAV4 Hybrid assembly is expected to ramp up in January 2020 with a capacity of approximately 100,000 units per year.
The investment is part of Toyota’s effort to boost production at its facilities throughout the US. Including the new production lines at TMMK, Toyota plans to invest nearly $750 million across five production facilities. Those include Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and Bodine Aluminum operations in Tennessee and Missouri.
“Today’s exciting announcement shows Toyota’s recognition and continued trust in the high-level skills and expertise of our fantastic team here in Kentucky,” said Susan Elkington, president of Toyota’s Kentucky facility. “The production changes announced today are centered upon our commitment to meet changing customer desires by diversifying the types of products our team members build here in Georgetown. This is also a further testament to Toyota’s long-term commitment to Kentucky and our team is excited about what these changes mean for the future of our facility.”
Announced in 1986 and opened in 1988, TMMK is Toyota’s largest production facility globally and currently employs approximately 8,000 team members. Its team members currently assemble the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES models. Additionally, team members assemble four-cylinder and V6 engines, axles and steering and engine components. The new hybrid models will not change the plant’s current capacity of 550,000 vehicles annually.
Kentucky’s automotive industry includes 520-plus facilities, employing more than 100,000 people full-time. The Georgetown plant has been a major factor in Kentucky attracting nearly 200 Japanese-owned manufacturing, service and technology-related facilities, located throughout the state. Those Japanese-owned facilities employ nearly 47,000 people full-time.
“There is no question of the positive impact Toyota has had on Kentucky over the past three decades. From the growth of the commonwealth’s automotive sector to the company’s efforts to give back to the local community, we in Kentucky could not ask for a stronger relationship than the one we share with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky,” said Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “The automotive industry is constantly evolving, and we are seeing a company with the foresight to stay a step ahead of that evolution. This investment serves as a reminder of Toyota’s importance to the state’s economy and we look forward to a continued partnership for years to come.”
(provided by Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor’s Office)