Kentucky offering $146.5 million incentives for Toyota to expand site

Article by Anita Panait, on April 19, 2013

The State of Kentucky is offering $146.5 million in tax incentives to Toyota Motor Corp. to persuade the Japanese carmaker to add a model and expand its Georgetown plant. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority recently approved the incentive package, which calls for Toyota to expand its Georgetown assembly site by 2015 to build an additional model.

The expansion would require the Japanese carmaker to invest $531.2 million and add 570 full-time jobs to receive the full value of the credits, the agency said in a statement. Mandy Lambert, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky agency, remarked that securing “this significant investment” in Georgetown, Kentucky, would be a “huge economic development victory.”

Mike Goss, a spokesman for Toyota's North American manufacturing arm, said the carmaker has yet to decide to expand the factory, which is already the largest in North America. Goss confirmed that Toyota has been informed of the incentive package. According to the Kentucky statement, Toyota is mulling adding another model and an additional 50,000 units of output annually starting in 2015.

Toyota opened the Georgetown plant in 1988 and is currently the main production site of Camry sedans. Toyota has already invested $6 billion at the Georgetown site, which employs about 6,600 people and can produce over 500,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines annually.

An expansion of the plant could mean 750 jobs when contract workers are included, according to the Kentucky statement. The statement added that Georgetown is "competing with other Toyota plants” for the opportunity to build the new model in North America.

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