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Toyota to employ 80 more in Buffalo

Toyota
Aug. 30, 2013 @ 11:23 PM

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. will invest $90 million in its Putnam County plant and create about 80 new jobs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin made the announcement Friday morning during the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting and business summit at The Greenbrier.

The investment is the eighth expansion of the Putnam County facility since it opened in 1996. Toyota will increase 6-speed automatic transmission assembly and machining by 20,000 per month by early 2015, according to a prepared release from Tomblin's office. That will bring its annual transmission production to 740,000 units. The plant builds transmissions for the Avalon, Camry, Lexus RX350, Sienna and Venza.

"This announcement is a true example of ... West Virginia's great story of investment and opportunity for our people and you, our businesses," Tomblin said. "(Toyota Motor Manufacturing) team members' hard work, the quality product they produce, and our state's commitment to creating a business climate that encourages the private sector to create jobs, led to this latest job growth and investment decision."

The company started with a $400 million investment in West Virginia and about 300 employees. The previous seven expansions during the past 17 years have brought Toyota's total investment in West Virginia to $1.3 billion. The company employs 1,300 people at its Putnam County facility. Annually, they build 650,000 engines and more than 500,000 automatic transmissions.

The facility celebrated the production of its 10 millionth powertrain in May, making it the first plant outside of Japan to reach that milestone.

"This capacity increase helps us meet growing North American demand and is a part of our localization strategy to 'build where we sell,'" said Millie Marshall, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia senior vice president of manufacturing and administration. "This latest investment helps us better serve our North American customers and prepares us for an even brighter future."

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