Capping off a decade since it made its first move toward North American production,Motor Corp. formalizes the addition of two more plants to its U.S. assembly operations.
Japan's top automaker broke ground in mid-May for a T- 100 pickup truck assembly plant in Gibson County, IN, and followed that a day later with formal announcement of plans to build an engine plant at a 200-acre site in Buffalo, WV.
The West Virginia plant will produce up to 300,000 1.8L 4-cyl. engines for Corollas currency built in Cambridge, Ont., and the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) joint venture plant in Fremont CA. The truck plant is expected to assemble 100,000 midsize pickups annually. Both new plants are expected to hit full pro auction in 1998.
It was a week of shuttling along the Interstate 64 corridor forofficials. All along the way, Toyota joined with state and local government officials to celebrate their accomplishments. The week began with ceremonies celebrating the 10th anniversary of ground breaking for Toyota's assembly operations in Georgetown, KY. Toyota currently builds engines and Camry and Avalon models at Georgetown and will build its new minivan there in the '97 model year.
On hand with state and local of ficials for the groundbreaking at an 1,000-acre (445 ha) site in southwest Indiana, Toyota Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda suggests that these moves may have capped the automaker's real estate moves for awhile. Right now, says Mr. Toyoda, "We have ample land for future expansion at our current sites."
The two proposed plants represent more than $1 billion in investment by Toyota-$700 million in Indiana and $400 million in West Virginia. About 1,300 jobs are expected at the truck plant and another 300 are expected at the engine plant.
Toyota President Hiroshi Okuda, who was on hand for ceremonies at all three locations, says that when the two newest plants are fully up to speed Toyota will be building 1.2 million vehicles and 800,000 engines annually in North America.
The new plants bring some organizational shuffling to Toyota's operations sometime this month. Toyota Motor Mfg. USA (which currently runs the Georgetown operations) will become a coordinating operation for three new entities: Toyota Motor Mfg. Kentucky, Toyota Motor Mfg. Indiana and Toyota Motor Mfg. West Virginal