Toyota Motor Corp. has allotted more than $30 million to increase metalcasting capacity and update other production systems at two Toyota Bodine Aluminum plants, in preparation for launching U.S production of hybrid powertrain manufacturing and to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture – an initiative launched earlier this year to standardize global parts designs and manufacturing systems, to achieve greater flexibility and responsiveness.
With capital investments in the works for five U.S. plants, the total investment will be $373.8 million. All of the projects are scheduled to be underway this year and operational by 2020.
The will Bodine Aluminum plant in Jackson, TN, will receive $14,500,000 for revampling and retooling to produce hybrid transaxle cases and housings, and 2.5-liter engine blocks. At Bodine Aluminum in Troy, MO, $17,050,000 will cover the cost of increasing capacity to produce 2.5-liter cylinder heads.
Toyota Bodine Aluminum was initiated by Toyota Motor Manufacturing in 1990. It casts aluminum engine brackets, carrier covers, cylinder heads and blocks, and automatic transmission parts at plants in St. Louis and Troy, MO, and Jackson, TN.
The investments at three other plants will be even larger. At Buffalo, WV, a new manufacturing line to produce hybrid transaxle systems is budgeted at $115,300,000; expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at Georgetown, KY, will cost $120,960,000, and at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Huntsville, AL, a more comprehensive modernization worth $106,000,000 is planned, to build engines according Toyota’s New Global Architecture.
The 2.5-liter engines manufactured in Kentucky and transaxles made in West Virginia will be installed in North America-built hybrid vehicles (e.g. the Highlander Hybrid manufactured in Princeton, Indiana. Toyota remains the world leader in gas-electric hybrids, surpassing 3 million sales in the U.S. and 10 million globally.
“This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them,” according to Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz. “This strategy is designed to better serve our customers and dealers, and positions our manufacturing operations to fulfill their needs well into the future.”