Toyota announced today that it will be investing more than $1.3 billion in its expansive plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. This factory, where the iconic Camry is built, is their largest operation across the globe and the money will be going toward a massive retooling effort to expedite vehicle manufacturing.
None of the money is going toward new jobs but Toyota said that this is the largest invest ever made into one of their U.S. based plants. The upgrade will be used to sustain the 8,200 jobs that are already in place at the plant, in which one-fourth of Toyota’s vehicles are produced in North America. This also shows the company’s growing commitment to American manufacturing due to threats by President Trump of a potential border tax.
President Trump had previously targeted Toyota when criticizing companies that make vehicles in foreign markets and sell them to Americans. Now that the automaker made the billion dollar commitment, President Trump reversed his stance and praised the company saying the investment is reflective of an “economic climate that has greatly improved under my administration.” (http://usat.ly/2ojsw2W) Although this investment is part of Toyota’s $10 billion dollars they agreed to put into American manufacturing days before Trump took office.
“This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive, further cementing our presence in Kentucky,” (http://bit.ly/2oS1FfT) said Wil James, president of the plant. Toyota is getting ready for production of their brand new 2018 Camry that has a new exterior design, a redesigned interior and a new engine. The plant had also hired 700 new employees recently to accommodate the changes coming to the vehicle. Toyota hopes that these updates to the vehicle will help solidify its place as top selling vehicle, which is slowly being lost to SUV’s.
The money will also be used to update equipment for streamlining the production process as well as construction of a new paint facility. Last year this plant produced over 500,000 cars and is set to make the same amount, if not more this year.
Officials from the State will be attending an event later on today (4/10/17) at the Georgetown plant to commemorate the automakers investment. Kentucky’s governor has already spoken on the matter stating this is “further proof of their commitment to producing American made cars.” (http://bit.ly/2oS1FfT)