Toyota executives and several elected officials have announced that the company will expand its Buffalo, W.V. plant to make gears for automatic transmissions produced there.
The 184,000-square-foot expansion will mean an additional $80 million investment in the facility, plus 50 new jobs. That will bring total investment at the plant to over $800 million and push employment to more than 1,000.
"Toyota West Virginia is playing an increasingly critical role for our rapidly growing operations in North America," said Atsushi Niimi, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America. "When the plant first began production in 1998, its sole product was four-cylinder engines for the Corolla. Now [it] provides powertrains for six different Toyota models and supplies all four of our existing North American vehicle plants."
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia currently builds four-cylinder engines for the Corolla and Matrix; V6 engines for the Sienna and Lexus RX330; and automatic transmissions for North American-built Camry, Solara, Lexus RX330 and Sienna. Gear production, currently done at a Toyota facility in Japan, will begin in Buffalo in 2006.
"Putting more West Virginians on the job helps build our state's economy and continue the Buffalo plant's reputation for building a quality product at a level of craftsmanship that is second to none," said Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, who represents the state's second congressional district. "Toyota's expansion is a sign of their dedication to the Mountain State and the workers who help turnout out hundreds of thousands of engines and transmissions a year."
West Virginia Governor Bob Wise also spoke at the announcement.
"Celebrating Toyota's success along with me are the hundreds of West Virginia men and women who have worked with dedication and a devotion to excellence that are hallmarks of our state's work force and of this fine company," Wise said. "Today's expansion also brings good news to families who will benefit from the high-quality manufacturing jobs that Toyota continues to bring to West Virginia's economy."
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