HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A major economic announcement from Toyota is impacting their plants across the country, including Huntsville.
More than $280 million is being invested in the Rocket City facility, creating 450 more jobs.
It is the largest expansion at the Huntsville plant.
The company is adding new 4-cylinder and V6 engine lines to increase production.
“It adds jobs to our area. It means the whole north Alabama area will have a good, high-paying jobs and add to our economy,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
“Madison County is nationally recognized as home of the Rocket City and the propulsion capital and it’s fair to say we’re the engine capital, producing more than 3000 engines every 24 hours. One third of all engines for Toyota North America are produced here in Madison County,” added Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.
Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield made the trip from Montgomery to the plant Thursday for the announcement. He told the crowd at the press conference that the automotive sector in Alabama is a story of success in a short period of time.
“It’s going to add 450 career opportunities for Alabamians in this area and that really speaks volumes about Toyota’s success and the vision of Toyota for the future,” he said.
Toyota’s investment will increase production in Huntsville by 35 percent to 900,000 engines a year to meet market demand.
The expansion will mark the largest hiring need at the plant. The investment also includes a building expansion.
“I think the confidence that Toyota has in our facility here is really about the confidence they have in our team members. Every time we make an announcement, we get about 10,000 applicants. We made this announcement for 450 jobs, and we’ll hear from 10,000 people that will put in for work,” said Toyota Alabama President David Fernandes.
It was a nationwide announcement by Toyota on Thursday. New investments are also being made in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia
The company is investing $750 million into five operations in U.S.
Toyota will be working with AIDT to fill the positions.
“The expansion further ensures our competitive edge as we move forward as an advanced manufacturing facility and our cumulative investment here will be $1.2 billion,” Fernandes said. “It will help increase our product flexibility and most of all, help us respond to the demand.”
Mazda and Toyota are currently working on a joint venture automotive plant in Huntsville as well. Construction is currently underway. Once finished, it will create 4,000 jobs.