Global automaker Toyota is a key contributor to Alabama’s economy, supporting an estimated 9,700 jobs at its Huntsville engine factory and its suppliers and spinoff operations.
Those findings are part of a new study by the Center for Automotive Research, which also shows that one out of every 200 workers in Alabama was employed as a result of Toyota manufacturing, sales, logistics or support operations in 2015.
At the Huntsville plant, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama has more than 1,450 employees. Last year, they produced 702,000 four-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines.
Since 2001, Toyota has invested $864 million in its Alabama operations.
“Toyota has been a valued partner to Alabama for more than 15 years, and its significant contributions to the Huntsville community and the state continue to make a powerful positive impact,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“The company’s commitment to Alabama, through continued investment and expansion, has delivered wide-ranging benefits to our residents. We are proud to have Toyota in our state,” he said.
The CAR study also shows Toyota’s direct employees in Alabama (manufacturing-related and new vehicle jobs) earned $401 million in payroll in 2015, and after taxes, their disposable personal income totaled $304 million.
Last month, the Huntsville plant celebrated a major milestone with the production of its 5 millionth engine. The plant is the only Toyota facility worldwide to produce four-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines under one roof, and one-third of all Toyota vehicles built in North America are powered by Alabama-built engines.
Rick Dawes, an employee at the Huntsville plant, said the 5 millionth milestone gives him and his co-workers a tremendous sense of pride.
“Working here for the past 14 years has provided a very high standard of living for my family and for many families in the region,” he said. “Besides that, Toyota is a very generous corporate citizen and supports many local charities, schools and social causes in our area.”
Huntsville Toyota workers logged more than 500 volunteer hours for local organizations in 2016, and the company has donated $8 million to charitable organizations in Alabama since 2001.
“Toyota continues to invest in facilities across the U.S., which, in turn, has resulted in job growth,” said Dr. Jay S. Baron, president and CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based CAR. “This study not only looks at the U.S. as a whole, but also digs deep into the economies of the 19 states in which Toyota had significant manufacturing or other operations in 2015 – including in Alabama. For every one employee in Toyota’s U.S. manufacturing-related operations there are an additional 6.1 jobs in the U.S. economy.”
Toyota recently announced a $10 billion investment in its U.S. facilities over the next five years as part of the company’s plan to build vehicles where they are sold and make existing plants even more competitive.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.