Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama (TMMAL) said its factory achieved two significant milestones in July 2020 as part of its US$288m expansion, originally announced in March 2019. After completion in 2021, the plant will add 450 new jobs and represent a US$1.2bn investment that solidifies the Huntsville facility as the automaker’s largest engine producer in North America.

Milestones include the start of production of an all new, redesigned four cylinder engine, and the closing in of the plant’s new 150,000 square foot V6 engine assembly line.

“These milestones represent significant achievements and further demonstrate Toyota’s long-term commitment to build where we sell,” said Dave Finch, Toyota Alabama president.

“By boosting production capacity and flexibility, our dedicated work force can better serve customers and position our operations for stability and future success.”

The Alabama plant supplies engines for one third of all Toyota vehicles assembled in the US.

The latest expansion is the plant’s fifth since it began engine production in 2003; annual engine capacity will increase 34% to 900,000 and total employment will top 1,800.

The investment is part of a broader commitment by the automaker to invest $13bn in US operations over five years through 2021

 To date, Toyota has committed nearly $9bn of the announced total; cumulative direct investment in the US now exceeds $28.4bn.