Toyota has announced a $1.3 billion investment in its Kentucky manufacturing facility to begin producing an all-new 3-row electric SUV for the U.S. market. This latest investment brings Toyota’s total spending on the Georgetown plant close to $10 billion.
The funding will support retooling efforts to enable electric vehicle assembly at the factory. Toyota will also add a battery pack production line on-site, sourcing batteries from their North Carolina plant.
Governor Andy Beshear welcomed the news, praising Toyota for its commitment to Kentucky and for providing well-paying jobs. The Georgetown Toyota plant opened in 1986 and currently employs around 9,400 Kentuckians who manufacture popular models like the Camry.
Toyota emphasized the investment reinforces their dedication to vehicle electrification and U.S. manufacturing. The new electric SUV produced in Kentucky will be Toyota’s first battery electric vehicle made in North America.
Expanding domestic electric vehicle and battery production capacity aligns with Toyota’s portfolio approach to zero-emission vehicles. By manufacturing EVs and batteries locally, they aim to meet increasing consumer demand for electrified powertrains.
The announcement comes amongst $17 billion in new U.S. investments by Toyota over the past two years focusing on electrification efforts. Kentucky plant manager Kerry Creech said generations of local Toyota employees have prepared for this next phase supporting electric models.
This is interesting development considering Toyota has historically been behind on their EVs development.