Toyota Adding Gear Production to Engine Plant

Fourth expansion for West Virginia operation

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Corp., the North American operating unit of Asia’s largest automaker, plans to invest $80 million to establish a production line for transmission gears at its Buffalo, WV, engine plant. Gear production is now carried out in Japan, and the move will establish about 50 jobs at the West Virginia location. The plant has been producing four-cylinder engines since 1998 for Toyota’s domestic assembly operations.

Toyota continues to expand its North American vehicle production volume. A sixth assembly plant is under construction in San Antonio, TX, to start producing Tundra pick-up trucks by 2006. By then, Toyota plans to be producing 1.7 million vehicles and 1.3 million engines per year at 13 plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

The West Virginia plant has already been expanded three times since start-up. Total investment there will hit $800 million when the new project is complete. Earlier expansions have added six-cylinder engines and transmission systems to its output. Gear systems for the Camry, Sienna (mini-van), and Lexus RX 330 SUV will be produced there.

and create 50 jobs to move production of transmission gears to a West Virginia factory from Japan as the automaker’s U.S. sales increase.

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