Sunday, June 03, 2001

What's the Buzz?

Toyota's Tristate investment increases

        Already coming off a record year in 2000, Toyota Motor Corp. will kick up its North American manufacturing operation a notch June 11 when it starts construction on a $220 million plant in Huntsville, Ala.

        It's the first time Toyota will make V-8 engines outside Japan. The engines will go in Tundra pickup trucks, which are assembled at Toyota's Princeton, Ind., plant.

        Overall, Toyota's North American purchasing totaled $16.9 billion last year, $2.5 billion more than the U.S. spent on its entire space program.

        Toyota officials trumpeted the comparison to show the company's impact on the local economy.

        All of that production is supported through the company's North American manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger. The Japanese automaker also operates its largest North American plant in Georgetown, Ky.

        Total production in 2000 totaled 1.1 million vehicles, triple the amount in 1990. Employment increased to more than 31,000, more than double the number in 1990, while the company's investment here increased to $12 billion, compared with $2.9 billion a decade ago.

        Meanwhile, Toyota paid its North American employees more than $1.9 billion last year.


— Cliff Peale

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Tristate Business Notes
- What's the Buzz?