ERLANGER, Ky. (AP) — Toyota said Friday that it will boost capacity at its engine plant in Huntsville, Ala., to allow it to produce four-cylinder engines for two additional North American assembly plants.
The expansion will allow the Alabama plant to produce 216,000 four-cylinder engines annually. Production is expected to begin by summer 2011.
The plant currently builds both V8 and V6 engines. The expansion will increase its annual engine capacity to 577,000.
The automaker expects to hire at least another 240 workers and increase total employment at the facility to more than 1,000 people. Toyota will invest $147 million, bringing its total investment in the plant to $637 million.
The plant will supply engines for RAV4 vehicles made at Toyota's plant in Woodstock, Ontario, and Camrys built at a site in Lafayette, Ind. Engines for those plants are currently produced in Japan.
Toyota said it will continue to build four-cylinder engines at Toyota's Kentucky plant for Camry production there.
In addition, Toyota's Bodine Aluminum castings plants in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn., will add capacity in order to provide cylinder heads and blocks to the Alabama engine plant. The automaker expects to invest a combined $25 million in those plants and create up to 60 new jobs.