Toyota’s Huntsville, AL, plant adds output of 4-cyl. engines today, becoming Toyota’s first factory globally to produce 4-cyl., V-6 and V-8 mills under one roof.
The 4-cyl. engines coming out of Huntsville, which has a 506,000-unit annual capacity – 216,000 dedicated to 4-cyls. – are destined for the ’12 Camry sedan, Highlander, RAV4 and Venza cross/utility vehicles and Sienna minivan. “Engines now produced in Huntsville will go into eight Toyota models assembled in North America, furthering our commitment to localizing production,” Atsushi Niimi, Toyota executive vice president, says in a statement.
“By adding 4-cyl. engines to the (Huntsville plant’s) mix, “We will be better prepared to react to changes in market demand.”
Toyota doesn’t specify the remaining three models to receive the Huntsville-sourced 4-cyls. but says the plant will not supply engines for its forthcoming Blue Springs, MS, facility, which opens this fall to build the Corolla compact sedan.
With the addition of 4-cyl. engines Toyota will employ nearly 1,000 workers at the Alabama plant. Two years ago, when the auto maker announced plans for the 4-cyl. line, it said 240 jobs would be created as result and that it would invest $147 million.
Toyota pegs its total investment at the Huntsville factory, which began V-8 production in April 2003 and V-6 builds in May 2005, at $637 million.
As a result of the new engines in Hunstville, Bodine Aluminum casting plants in Troy, MO, and Jackson, TN, have invested $25 million and added 60 new jobs.