GEORGETOWN, KY—Toyota is proposing a new $460.8 million expansion of its assembly plant here, already the company’s largest in the world.
The plans include a major update that will expand the plant’s ability to assemble new products, including future electric vehicles. The plant has been making hybrid electric vehicles since 2006.
Toyota has already announced that the Georgetown plant will assemble fuel cell modules for use in hydrogen-powered heavy-duty commercial trucks starting in 2023. Now, the plant also will begin making a new 2.4-liter turbo engine for an expanded range of vehicles made in North America.
The company will also shift to a direct hiring process that will move about 1,400 contract employees to the Toyota payroll, along with all new hires. That will increase Toyota’s official employment by over 20 percent.
“As Toyota’s most experienced assembly plant in the U.S., [the Georgetown plant] must transform physically and strategically to meet the changing needs of customers,” says Susan Elkington, president of the plant.
While Georgetown will continue to assemble the Camry, Camry Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid, production of the Lexus ES and Lexus ES Hybrid will shift back to Japan to help create space for future products and to better align with U.S. market demand.
“[We are] studying ways to improve plant flexibility and competitiveness to better meet customer and market changes, while further minimizing environmental impacts,” says Kim Ogle, spokeswoman for the plant. “Adding new equipment, enhancing advanced manufacturing technologies, and improving plant layout to make operations more efficient are some of the initiatives being considered.”