ANN ARBOR, MI-Turns out that what's good for Toyota is also good for the country.

According to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), the $13.4 billion invested by Toyota Motor Corp. in its U.S. operations in 2003 contributed 386,300 jobs and $14.4 billion in earnings to the country's economy.

According CAR, Toyota's U.S. manufacturing operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and California directly employed 29,135 people in 2003. Another 74,060 workers were employed in new vehicle dealer-related operations, including sales, service and marketing-related activities. The remainder of the 386,300 jobs is the result of spending generated by Toyota's direct employees, dealers and their suppliers.

The study estimates the Toyota San Antonio plant currently under construction at a cost of $850 million will generate approximately 9,000 additional jobs and $460 million in annual compensation salaries and wages once it is fully operational.

"This study illustrates the importance of foreign direct investment in the United States, which is largely responsible for the U.S. motor vehicle industry first recovering, and then maintaining, its traditional position as the largest national automotive industry in the world," says CAR director Kim Hill.

Hill says the study also emphasizes the many intangible benefits of Toyota's U.S. investment, such as innovation, productivity performance and increases in product quality. "[These] have had a ripple effect within the industry, in local communities and throughout the entire U.S. economy," Hill says. For more information on the CAR study, visit