Toyota to expand Lexus production to Kentucky
Automaker’s $360 million investment ‘a tribute’ to Georgetown workers
Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky. manufacturing plant, winner of Plant Engineering’s Top Plant award in 2006, won another big prize on April 17: A bigger investment from Toyota Motor Corporation.
The company announced it would expand the Georgetown facility over the next two years to bring production of the Lexus ES 350 to Kentucky. The $360 million investment will create 750 jobs and expand Georgetown’s output from 500,000 cars annually to 550,000. Company officials said the investment would “maximize benefit-cost ratio to enhance overall profit structure and to ensure the level of Lexus quality that consumers expect.”
Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda said the past success at Georgetown with production of the Camry and other Toyota cars made the investment in this facility a wise one.
“Here in the United States, we chose Kentucky because of our successful 25-year partnership with the state,” Toyoda said during a press conference originating in New York. “It is also fitting that we chose Kentucky because it was Toyota's first stand-alone plant in America. So in a way, for manufacturing, Kentucky is Toyota's home.
He also praised the staff at Georgetown for its continuing excellence. “It also has some of the most-experienced Toyota team members in the world,” he said. “To our Kentucky teams watching this Webcast: This is a tribute to your extraordinary efforts and the hard work you have put into every single car for the past 25 years.”
“The decision to move ES 350 production to Kentucky is a true tribute to the hard work and commitment to excellence of every single Toyota team member at this plant,” said Toyota Kentucky president Wil James. “We deeply appreciate the tremendous support we have received from our community, from our local suppliers and business partners, and from (Kentucky Gov. Steve) Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We look forward to strengthening further the productive partnership we have built together over the last 25 years.”
“In 2012, the plant produced the 25 millionth Toyota vehicle built in North America,” company officials said in a press release. “Toyota recently committed to boosting production capacity for the 4-cylinder engine at the plant by more than 100,000 units. This $30 million project will create about 80 new jobs.”
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey