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Toyota expands electric car parts production at two US plants

BUFFALO, WEST VIRGINIA (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp announced on Friday that it will further expand production of electric vehicle parts at plants in West Virginia and Tennessee in a USD90 million investment.

The announcement came three months after the Japanese automaker said it would invest USD240 million to add a production line dedicated to hybrid powertrains at its facility in Buffalo, West Virginia.

The latest upgrade involves spending USD73 million at the plant to annually assemble an estimated 120,000 rear motor stators, a key component in electric motors. “Toyota is moving quickly toward an electrified future, and West Virginia will play a critical role in that journey,” President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia David Rosier, said in a statement. “Our team embraces this challenge, and it’s clear Toyota has faith in our ability and trusts us to take the company to new heights.”

A year ago Toyota invested USD210 million at the Buffalo plant and added 100 new jobs to expand capacity of its four- and six-cylinder engine lines. The plant employs about 2,000 workers. Toyota also said on Friday that it will spend USD17 million to increase the production capacity for hybrid transaxle cases and housings at its nearly 400-worker facility in Jackson, Tennessee.

The automaker said it is committed to offering electric vehicles across its lineup of Toyota and Lexus vehicles by 2025.

In October, Toyota said it planned to build a new USD1.29 billion factory in the US to manufacture batteries for hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

A man at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP