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Toyota delivers on its investment of another engine plant expansion

Toyota Motor Manufacturing will deliver on its promise of another major expansion at its Madison County plant when the company’s twin-turbo V6 engines come off the assembly line later this month.

Toyota is one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, and company executives announced in 2019 they were going to invest $288 million on the expansion as well as add another 450 jobs to the company’s burgeoning site in North Alabama.

The company will be celebrating this latest expansion on October 18. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will lead a group of elected officials, dignitaries and Toyota executives who will be at the plant that day for the event.

The impetus for this latest expansion is that the plant will be the exclusive North American producer of the twin-turbo V6 engine for the 2022 Tundra, according to company executives.

Production of the V-6 engine will start later in October. Hiring for the positions has already begun, according to Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama.

“This is a momentous occasion for Toyota Alabama and shows Toyota’s confidence in Toyota Alabama to be the sole North American producer of the twin-turbo V-6 engine. Our team is revved up and ready to begin production,” Puckett said.

The 2022 Tundra will come with two powerplant configurations — a highly efficient twin-turbo V-6 engine or a hybrid twin-turbo V-6 engine.

The V-6 engine is made up of an aluminum block that features a displacement of 3.5 liters. The 24-valve dual overhead cam V-6 is chain-driven. The V-6 engine produces up to 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. When paired with the bell-housing motor system, the result is an output of 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. torque.

This latest expansion is part of a long-term commitment from Toyota to the American market. This is the seventh expansion since the company opened the Huntsville plant in 2003 with 300 jobs. This latest expansion will push Toyota’s workforce at the engine plant to 1,800.

This is the only Toyota plant in the world to build 4-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines under one roof. Toyota has produced V-8 engines for the Tundra in the past. The V-8 is also used in the Sequoia. V-6 engines are used in the Highlander, Tacoma and the Lexus RX 350. The 4-cylinder engines the plant’s workers produce are used in the Camry, Highlander and RAV4.

“Toyota has proven again of its confidence of Alabama’s workforce. The foresight and vision by this global corporation by investing in this engine factory is a testament to the solid partnership Alabama has formed with the automaker,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.

Dale Strong was in his second term as a commissioner when Toyota opened the initial plant in 2003. Today, he serves as Madison County Commission chairman.

“Toyota is one of the best manufacturing companies in the world, and we are fortunate they made the decision 18 years ago to choose our community to open this manufacturing facility,” Strong said. “They have shown an unwavering commitment to being a partner for our region and we are excited about what the future holds for this engine plant, as well as the Mazda Toyota assembly plant in Limestone County.”

Toyota’s investment in its engine plant now totals $1.2 billion, and the assembly plant announced in 2019 is expected to reach an investment of $1.6 billion.

Ray Garner is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News.