Toyota to hire 123 more workers in Putnam County, invest more than $100 million

    Toyota announces it will hire 123 more workers at its plant in Buffalo in Putnam County and invest more than $100 million. (WCHS/WVAH)

    More than a hundred jobs are coming to the Toyota plant in Putnam County.

    Thursday morning the company announced they were doubling production of hybrid transaxles over what they announced in 20-17.

    Company officials announced Thursday morning the facility will be doubling its production of hybrid transaxles and adding 123 new jobs in the process

    “We're going to increase the number of hybrids for customers in the next five years. We will be seeing dramatic increases from 7 percent to 15 percent hybrid vehicles, so to do that we need to produce more local transaxles than what we first announced,” Leah Curry said.

    In 2017 the plant announced they would be making 120,000 hybrid transaxles. Doubling that number means another $111 million investment in the facility in Putnam county.

    The expansion also means another 72,000 square feet area where the materials will be made.

    “It's exciting because we got the business,” Srini Matam said.

    Matam is in charge of the production. He said training on the new technology is ongoing.

    “Intricacies and details of the new technology. We need to learn a lot of technology. We need to train our team members,” Matam said

    “Success leads to success. Rising tide gets all the boats, and we see that here in West Virginia. Good things are happening in West Virginia. Companies want to be here,” Ed Gaunch said.

    In 2020 the plant will begin producing 120,000 hybrid transaxles a year and will then double that amount a year later.

    UPDATE, 11:25 a.m.

    Toyota will invest $111 million more in West Virginia, adding 123 more jobs at the Buffalo plant in Putnam County.

    At a news conference Thursday at the plant, the company said it would double its production of hybrid transaxles. It’s the plant’s eighth project in five years.

    The news was applauded by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

    “Since my time as governor, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Toyota officials to build on their initial investment in our state, which now totals more than $1.4 billion and is directly responsible for 1,600 good-paying jobs,” Manchin said in a news release. “Toyota’s continued investment at their Buffalo, W.Va., manufacturing facility is a testament to the facility’s hard-working employees and the success that comes with doing business in the Mountain State.”

    Capito said Toyota represents more than just good jobs. in West Virginia.

    "It’s a company committed to improving our economy and investing in our workforce," Capito said in a statement. "Today’s announcement further cements the strong community partnership Toyota has in our state. I’m excited to see how this new venture will continue to benefit our local communities and know West Virginia workers will be eager to fill the 123 new jobs coming to TMMWV.”

    The West Virginia investment includes a building expansion and equipment to double capacity of hybrid transaxles from 120,000 units. The production start is expected in in 2020, reaching 240,000 units annually in 2021.

    “We are proud to add such a significant cost investment to Toyota West Virginia – not only financially but also in adding team members to the Toyota family,” said Leah Curry, president of the Putnam County plant said. “Doubling our production of hybrid transaxles in West Virginia solidifies our facility’s role in producing next generation engines and transmissions that will drive the future of Toyota’s advanced mobility technology.”


    UPDATE, 11:14 a.m.

    Toyota Motor Corp. says it is investing an additional $750 million at five U.S. plants that will bring nearly 600 new jobs.

    The Japanese automaker announced the latest expansion of its U.S. presence Thursday, bringing to nearly $13 billion the amount it will spend by 2021.

    The new investments are at facilities in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia. Those facilities were part of a 2017 announcement for a $374 million investment to support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain.

    The company's Georgetown, Kentucky, plant will produce hybrid versions of Lexus ES 300 sedans starting in May and the RAV4 SUV starting in January 2020. Both vehicles are now made in Canada and Japan

    Toyota also is spending $62 million to boost production at its Troy, Missouri, facility.

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    Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc. said it will making a special announcement Thursday at its plant in Putnam County.

    A news advisory said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice will be at the 11 a.m. announcement.

    No specific details about the announcement were available.

    In 1998, the facility in Buffalo opened with 300 employees, according to the Robert C. Byrd Institute. The plant has expanded several times and employs about 1,200.

    The institute said the plant at first made four-cylinder engines, and now produces six-speed transmissions and builds and assembles machine components for four-cylinder and V-6 engines.

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia announced in 2017 it would be making a $115.3 million investment to produce the company’s first American-made hybrid transaxles.

    In September 2016, Toyota celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Buffalo facility. During that ceremony, company officials said $400 million would be reinvested into the plant as part of a continued commitment to West Virginia.

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