April 10 (UPI) — Automobile manufacturer Toyota announced a $1.33 billion investment in its Georgetown, Ky., plant on Monday.
The plant will be the first to produce vehicles using Toyota New Global Architecture, a design and manufacturing process initiated to speed a car model’s development cycle, a Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., statement said.
“This $1.33 billion investment is part of Toyota’s plan to invest $10 billion dollars in the U.S. over the next five years, on top of the nearly $22 billion Toyota has invested in the U.S. over the past 60 years,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “Toyota New Global Architecture is about exciting, ever-better vehicles for our customers as it will improve performance of all models.”
The Georgetown plant is Toyota’s largest in the world, with 8,200 employees. In 2016 it produced 500,000 vehicles, or 25 percent of all Toyota models sold in North America, the statement said. It manufactures the Toyota Camry model, and Lexus models.
“Toyota is a global icon. This $1.33 billion investment is further proof of their commitment to producing American-made cars that are among the finest quality found anywhere in the world,” commented Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. “It also serves as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the plant’s current employees, and reaffirms Toyota’s confidence in the advantages of manufacturing in Kentucky.”
In January the company announced a $600 million investment at its Princeton, Ind., plant, and the creation of 600 new jobs. It said at the time the expansion was part of its strategy to “build vehicles where they are sold.”