Photo by Sarah Jane Sanders
Toyota floor 2
Toyota’s decision to invest another $1.33 billion into its massive Scott County-based car manufacturing plant is a major investment in new automotive technology, but also the Commonwealth where it has made its home in the U.S. and all of North America.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. is Toyota’s largest plant in the world. Officials say 8,200 people are employed at the plant. The plant near Georgetown produces a variety of models, including Camry and houses the only Lexus production line in North America.
“This $1.33 billion investment is part of Toyota’s plan to invest $10 billion dollars in the U.S. over the next five years, on top of the nearly $22 billion Toyota has invested in the U.S. over the past 60 years,” Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said in announcing the plan in mid-April.
The decision was heralded by state officials, including Gov. Matt Bevin. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development says the project will engender another $43.5 million in tax incentives from the Commonwealth, in addition to $146.5 million that state agreed to in 2013 related to the Lexus line and other plant upgrades.
The company says its major investment backs a new streamlined design and development protocol: Toyota New Global Architecture. The project aims to bring down the costs and narrow the time frame that it takes to bring new models to market.
“This is the largest investment in our plant’s history, and it speaks directly to the quality of our people and our products, as well as the partnerships we’ve forged in the local community and across the state,” said Wil James, president of TMMK. “This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive, further cementing our presence in Kentucky.”
The announcement was heralded by federal, state and local officials, including President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Gov. Matt Bevin.
“For more than 30 years, Toyota has been committed to the Commonwealth, and today’s investment is further proof that the company maintains its pledge to grow our economy and solidify Kentucky as a world-class automotive state,” McConnell said.