Toyota Adding to Casting Capacity Expansion

Bodine to cast aluminum cases, housings

Bodine Aluminum Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, is broadening its expansion plans in Jackson, TN, with a $40-million project to cast aluminum transmission cases and housings.

An ongoing construction project at Jackson is budgeted at $124 million and will result in a plant producing 1 million engine blocks per year. That operation will start up in seven months, Bodine indicates. The 200-acre site at the Airport Industrial Park in Jackson now employs 25, but total employment will reach 220.

Casting of aluminum transmission cases and housing will begin in 2007 and eventually reach total capacity of 270,000 units per year.

The increase in production of transmissions was announced late in April. TMMNA will invest $120 million at its engine and transmission plant in Buffalo, WV, to increase transmission output by 240,000 to 600,000 units.

In April 2004, Toyota announced an expansion at the West Virginia plant to manufacture automatic transmission gears beginning in 2006.

Toyota has five vehicle assembly plants and six powertrain and component plants in North America. The Jackson plant is one of two new facilities under construction. Another is in progress in San Antonio. Toyota plans to manufacture 1.66 million cars and trucks per year in North America by 2006, and 1.44 million engines.

"With the growing demand for Toyota vehicles comes a responsibility to build those vehicles where we sell them. The same is true for parts such as engine blocks and transmission cases and housings," said Atsushi Niimi, president and CEO of TMMNA.

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