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Toyota Plans $1.3 Billion Investment In Kentucky Plant

Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Ky., is its largest in the world. In this photo from 2010, an employee installs an accelerator into a new Camry at the plant.
Ed Reinke
Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Ky., is its largest in the world. In this photo from 2010, an employee installs an accelerator into a new Camry at the plant.

Toyota already makes its popular Camry sedan in a massive plant in Georgetown, Ky., and the carmaker will spend more than a billion dollars there to update the way it builds the vehicle. The plant also recently added 700 jobs.

"Toyota's Camry is the best-selling car in America," NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, "and according to a survey by Cars.com, the Camry is the most American-made car, meaning it's made in the U.S. and so are most of its parts."

Over the next five years, Toyota plans to invest $10 billion in the U.S.

In response to the news, President Trump said, "Toyota's decision to invest $1.3 billion in their Kentucky plant is further evidence that manufacturers are now confident that the economic climate has greatly improved under my administration," citing a recent survey.

The Kentucky plant will be the company's first in North America to use Toyota's new "global architecture" approach to car building, a change that promises to shorten development time and make the facility more flexible to adapt to future changes in vehicle design.

The Georgetown plant is Toyota's largest in the world. It currently employs 8,200 workers, and the company says it produced more than 500,000 vehicles there in 2016.

Of the new investment, Secretary Terry Gill of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development said, "Its ripple effects will add to Toyota's three decades of transformative impact on our communities and for our residents across the Commonwealth."

In the increasingly globalized car industry, both Toyota and Honda build some of their top-selling vehicles in the U.S. — the Honda Accord, Toyota Sienna, and Honda Odyssey trail the Camry on that list of American-made vehicles that are also big sellers.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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