Toyota (NYSE:TM) today celebrated the announcement of its new engine block casting plant here with Governor Phil Bredesen, Senator Lamar Alexander and about 300 Jackson community leaders at the Ned McWherter Cultural Arts Center.
The Tennessee facility, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc. will be the third plant of Bodine Aluminum, Inc., Toyota's Missouri-based aluminum block die-casting unit.
The Jackson facility, which will begin operations in late 2005 and expand over several years, will eventually produce one million units annually, employ 200 team members and have an investment of $124 million.
"This is an exciting day for Jackson," said Governor Bredesen. "Toyota will play a vital role in Jackson and the surrounding communities, providing quality jobs and a positive economic impact throughout the region. This project plays directly into Tennessee's strategy for recruiting high caliber jobs by world class companies."
"Toyota made the right decision in choosing Jackson for its new engine parts plant, and today's outpouring of community support is in large part why," said U.S. Senator Bill Frist. "The $124 million investment in West Tennessee will create over 200 jobs and contribute greatly to the future economic development in the state. I look forward to watching this project as it expands over the years."
"This is an exciting day for Tennessee. These Toyota jobs are the best kind of good paying jobs for Jackson and West Tennessee," said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. "Tennessee is becoming the geographical center of the American automobile industry. Since 1993, 900 new auto parts suppliers with 150,000 new jobs have helped raise Tennesseans' family incomes. Toyota helped bring thousands of those jobs to Tennessee and should bring more in years to come."
Atsushi Niimi, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., emphasized the important role the facility will play for Toyota.
"The Jackson plant will be a strong foundation upon which Toyota will grow in North America," he said.
Bodine Aluminum was founded in 1912 and became a Toyota subsidiary in 1990. The company's two plants in Troy and St. Louis, Missouri produce cylinder heads, cylinder blocks and other castings for most of Toyota's North American-produced vehicles. The company employs over 900 people in its two facilities.
Toyota currently has 10 vehicle manufacturing and parts facilities in North America, and is building three more - in Huntsville, Alabama; Baja California, Mexico; and San Antonio, Texas.
By 2006, Toyota will have capacity to build 1.65 million cars and trucks a year and 1.16 million engines in North America. Toyota currently employs some 34,000 people throughout North America. The company's direct investment is nearly $14 billion with annual parts, materials, goods and services purchased from North American suppliers totaling nearly $20 billion. Toyota's North American-produced vehicles include the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Tacoma and Tundra, and Voltz. Beginning in the fall of 2003, the Lexus RX 330 will be produced at the automaker's plant in Ontario, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.