Toyota to invest $373.8 million in five U.S. plants

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(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Tuesday it would invest $373.8 million in five manufacturing plants in the United States to produce its first American-made hybrid powertrain, as it looks to build more vehicles in the market which it sells.

The automaker said the investment would also be used to roll out Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) strategy at its Alabama plant, an initiative that aims to reduce the cost of developing new vehicles, partly by using more common components. (reut.rs/2yr9Twv)

The company would also start production of hybrid vehicle transmissions at its Buffalo, West Virginia facility and expand its 2.5-liter engine capacity at Georgetown, Kentucky, Toyota said.

“This latest wave of investment represents our efforts to localize production of hybrid powertrains to the U.S.,” said Jeff Moore, senior vice resident, manufacturing. 

Toyota will modify its plant in Jackson, Tennessee to accommodate production of vehicle transmissions while its Huntsville, Alabama plant would undergo an upgrade enabling it to build engines complementing its strategy, the company said.

The projects are set to begin this year and would be operational in 2020, Japan’s biggest auto company said.

In January, Toyota’s North America CEO Jim Lentz said the company would invest $10 billion in the United States over the next five years to meet demand and upgrade plants to build more fuel-efficient models.

(Corrects paragraph 3 to say Buffalo, West Virginia, not Wyoming.)

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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