Toyota has selected a 200-acre site in Huntsville, Alabama, for its newest engine plant in North America.

The factory will machine and assemble V8 engines for the full-size Tundra pickup truck made in Princeton, Indiana.

The Huntsville plant will be Toyota's first outside of Japan to manufacture V8 engines. It will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 units and represent a $US220 million investment by Toyota.

The company said the facility is expected to bring 350 new jobs to Alabama and indirectly create work for many more. Production will begin in the summer of 2003.

Toyota is the first company to locate in the North Huntsville Industrial Park. The City of Huntsville purchased the 400-acre plot in April 1999 and plans to continue to draw industry to the northwest part of the city.

The plant is the latest addition to Toyota's increasing manufacturing investment in the U.S. and Canada. By 2003, the automaker will have capacity to build 1.45 million cars and trucks a year, and 1.16 million engines.

Toyota currently has three engine plants in North America. Factories in West Virginia and Kentucky both produce four-cylinder and V6 engines and a plant in Ontario assembles four-cylinder units.

By 2003, Toyota will employ some 33,000 people throughout North America, producing the Camry, Avalon, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Corolla, Tundra, and Tacoma.

The new Matrix, unveiled at the Detroit auto show, will come off a Fresno, California assembly line in 2002, and beginning in the fall of 2003, the RX300 will be produced in Canada, becoming the first Lexus model built outside Japan.