Toyota employees were joined by state and local officials to mark the start of the four-cylinder engine manufacturing at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc. facility. TMMAL also marked its tenth year of operations in Alabama in a separate reception the night before.
Adding the production of the four-cylinder engine will add more jobs to TMMAL, which would now total close to 1,000 employees. It will also bring the company’s total investment to $637 million. Total yearly engine capacity of four-cylinder, V8 and V6 engines is now at least 500,000. TMMAL holds the distinction of being the only Toyota plant in the world to manufacture all three engines.
Alabama governor Robert Bentley says that the Japanese carmaker has been a dedicated and reliable partner in creating stronger relationships within the different communities where their employees work and live.
Bentley adds that after ten years in the state, the plant has contributed greatly to the region’s economy. He also reiterates that TMMAL is invaluable in building healthy communities in the state, which also means a stronger nation and world.
Toyota Motor Corporation executive vice president and representative director Atsushi Niimi says that the Alabama facility’s team members focus on safety and quality. They also have an outstanding commitment to improve continuously and their team work is unmatched. Niimi also commented that the engines produced at the plant will be used in eight Toyota models to be assembled in the North American continent, which signifies their intensified commitment to make production local. And with the addition of four-cylinder engines to the Alabama plant’s mix, the company is in a better position to respond to changes in demand.
The four-cylinder engines produced at the facility will go into the 2012 Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Venza and Sienna. Meanwhile, the V6 and V8 engines will go into the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks, as well as the Sequoia SUV. The manufacturing expansion at the Alabama plant allows the facility to supply engines to every vehicle assembly plant owned by the carmaker in North America except for one. The Blue Springs, Mississippi, facility is slated to start production in the fall.
The two Bodine Aluminum castings plants in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn., will also see increased capacities as these two facilities will supply cylinder heads and blocks to TMMAL. The carmaker’s total investments in these two plants amounted to $25 million and these helped create five dozen new jobs.
TMMAL president Jim Bolte thanked the Huntsville community for their support by way of two cash gifts amounting to $50,000 each. These were made to the Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center and the Habitat for Humanity of Madison County. Bolte said that this is the time for them to celebrate their previous work while also preparing for four-cylinder production. Bolte adds that their commitment to creating quality products that adhere to the strictest safety standards has helped the facility win new business and that they also look forward to many successful years.
At the 10th anniversary reception, TMMAL also donated two Toyota vehicles and ten cash gifts of $10,000 each to ten different government agencies in the area.