Toyota’s Alabama engine plant notched a strong performance in 2019, and it is kicking off 2020 with plans to fill 450 new jobs, the company said this week.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama produced about 610,000 engines last year, roughly 2,500 per day.
The plant’s output powers one-third of Toyota vehicles built in North America, which means the Huntsville workforce plays a critical role in the supply chain for the global automaker. It’s also the only Toyota plant to produce 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines under one roof.
In March, Toyota announced plans to spend $288 million on two new production lines that will increase annual engine capacity to 900,000 by the end of 2021.
The new 4-cylinder and V-6 engine lines mean 450 new jobs, and hiring starts this month.
Once the project is complete, the plant’s total investment will be $1.2 billion, with a workforce of 1,800 people.
“Toyota has had remarkable success in Alabama, and the latest expansion is just another example of the trust and confidence the company has in its Alabama workforce,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “2020 is shaping up to be another impressive year for our state auto industry, and Toyota is one of the major forces behind that growth.”
Toyota officials expect 2020 to be another high-volume year for the Huntsville operation, and they credit employees’ commitment to quality and safety for the plant’s continued growth. The daily production rate of 2,500 engines is five times as many engines as the plant turned out when it opened in 2003.
In April, the plant is expected to produce its 7 millionth engine.
Meanwhile, the new 4-cylinder engine line is scheduled to begin production this summer, while construction for the new V6 line is underway and scheduled to be complete this fall. Trial production for the new V-6 engines will begin in summer 2021.
Toyota has made significant contributions to the Huntsville community in ways that go beyond its plant walls.
In 2019, the company supported more than 40 local nonprofits, with investments that topped $700,000. It has donated engines and vehicles to local technical schools to support workforce development initiatives.
In a recent move, Toyota Alabama has partnered with the minor league baseball Rocket City Trash Pandas in the naming of Toyota Field. The effort includes the Toyota Outfield Experience, which will connect job seekers to openings at the Huntsville plant.
Construction is progressing at the Huntsville site of Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, the $1.6 billion joint venture assembly plant that will create up to 4,000 jobs after production begins next year.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.