August 31, 2013

Toyota increasing US transmission production

When Toyota's Buffalo, West Virginia engine plant began production in 1998, maintenance team member Eric Cline knew they'd build a lot of engines for Toyotas driven by customers all across the country. Fifteen years later, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West
Virginia (TMMWV) has built over 10-million powertrain (engines and transmissions), Toyota is investing a combined $102-million in manufacturing facilities to meet increased consumer demand for Toyotas and the engines that power them.

Toyota announced it will increase 6-speed automatic transmission assembly and machining capacity by 20,000 per month in early 2015 at its Buffalo powertrain plant and Bodine Aluminum casting facilities in Missouri and Tennessee. This project will create more than 100 jobs.

This $90-million boost to Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV) will raise total plant investment to more than $1.4-billion and create about 80 jobs. TMMWV currently produces 500,000 transmissions per year, and today's news will increase production to 740,000 transmissions per year starting in 2015.

"This capacity increase helps us meet growing North American demand and is a part of our localization strategy to 'build where we sell'," said Millie Marshall, TMMWV Senior Vice-President of Manufacturing and Administration. "This latest investment helps us better serve our North American customers and prepares us for an even brighter future."

TMMWV employs 1,300 team members and builds 6-speed transmissions for the Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Lexus RX350, Sienna and Venza. From Mississippi to Indiana and in between, all of these cars are built in North America.

"Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia has been a dedicated corporate citizen for more than 15 years, and with today's announcement has expanded eight times since first opening. This continued growth is a testament to the hard-working Toyota team members who have committed themselves to producing quality powertrain at the Buffalo plant," said West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. "The company's continued investment in the Mountain State is also a testament to the business climate we've worked hard to create - one that encourages companies to expand, innovate, and create new jobs. On behalf of all West Virginians, I thank Toyota for the company's continued confidence in our workforce."

Bodine Aluminum, 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 Toyota West Virginia.  Bodine's total investment is more than $650-million and employs nearly 1,100 at its three locations. This project will create 25 jobs in Missouri.

"This expansion at Bodine Aluminum's facility in Troy marks another important milestone for Bodine and Toyota, for this community, and for Missouri's resurgent automotive manufacturing industry," said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. "As a state, we will keep pursuing proven, fiscally responsible policies and making smart, strategic investments to move this industry and our economy forward, so that auto industry jobs in Troy and throughout Missouri can continue to grow."

This announcement represents Toyota's eleventh manufacturing investment in North America over the past 21 months that now totals more than $2.1-billion and represents more than 4,000 jobs created.


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