Toyota expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at Georgetown plant

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Toyota Manufacturing Plant, Georgetown Kentucky

PLANO, TX (WTVQ) – Toyota plans to spend more than $120-million to expand its 2.5-liter engine building capacity at its Georgetown plant, the company announced Tuesday.

The engines will be used in hybrid vehicles built in North America.

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The expansion will not mean any new jobs in Scott County.

Below is the news release from Toyota in its entirety:

Toyota just upped the stakes to remain the top manufacturer of hybrid vehicles worldwide with a $373.8 million investment in five U.S. manufacturing plants that will support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain and to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) at its Alabama plant.  Each of the projects is scheduled to begin this year and all should be operational by 2020.

The investments will include adding new production of hybrid transaxles (hybrid vehicle transmissions) at the Buffalo, WV, manufacturing facility; expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at the Georgetown, KY, plant; increasing production of 2.5-liter cylinder heads at Bodine Aluminum’s Troy, MO, plant; and modifying the Bodine Jackson plant to accommodate production of hybrid transaxle cases and housings and 2.5-liter engine blocks.  The Huntsville, AL, plant will undergo a comprehensive upgrade to enable it to build engines that complement TNGA.

“This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them,” said Jim Lentz, CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “This strategy is designed to better serve our customers and dealers, and positions our manufacturing operations to fulfill their needs well into the future.”

The 2.5-liter engines manufactured in Kentucky and transaxles made in West Virginia will be used in hybrid vehicles built in North America such as 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.

Fifty new jobs will be created because of the investment at the Alabama plant.  There will be no net gain of jobs at the Kentucky, West Virginia, or Bodine Aluminum facilities, but these investments will help to ensure the stability of the plants’ employment levels in the future.

“This investment across five American plants expands capacity for our latest TNGA engines, and localizes production of hybrid powertrains, a core Toyota technology,” said Jeff Moore, senior vice president for Manufacturing. “It underscores Toyota’s confidence in the capability and global competitiveness of our North American manufacturing.”

The total investment of $373.8 million will be distributed as follows:

  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, KY – $120,960,000                  ● Bodine Aluminum Jackson, TN – $14,500,000
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, WV – $115,300,000                ● Toyota Motor Manufacturing, AL – $106,000,000
  • Bodine Aluminum Troy, MO – $17,050,000

These projects, and others previously announced, move Toyota nearly halfway ($4.1 billion) toward its commitment to invest $10 billion in the U.S. as announced by CEO Akio Toyoda in January 2017.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.