A $1.33bn spend – the highest of any automaker in Kentucky and the second largest in state history- will make Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky the first plant in North America to begin producing vehicles using Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).

The Camry, from the 2018 model year, will become the first Toyota vehicle made in the US to fully incorporate the new vehicle development and production technology. 

“This $1.33bn investment is part of Toyota’s plan to invest $10bn in the US over the next five years, on top of the nearly $22bn spent in the US over the past 60 years,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “Toyota New Global Architecture is about exciting, ever-better vehicles for our customers as it will improve performance of all models, including increased fuel efficiency, more responsive handling, and a more stable, comfortable feel while driving.”

TNGA represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles. In addition, it will shorten the development cycle for vehicle improvements and new vehicles. TNGA also allows for a more flexible production environment.

In addition to TNGA improvements, TMMK will undergo other makeovers that will, together, modernise and streamline the production process. That includes updating equipment and construction of a new paint shop.

“This is the largest investment in our plant’s history and it speaks directly to the quality of our people and our products, as well as the partnerships we’ve forged in the local community and across the state,” said Wil James, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK). “This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive.”

Toyota Kentucky is the automaker’s largest plant in the world, employing 8,200 people. This is an all-time high after recently adding over 700 people to support the upcoming launch of the 2018 Camry.  Last year, TMMK produced nearly a quarter of the total number of Toyota vehicles produced in North America – over 500,000. In total, the plant has produced more than one third – 11m – of all Toyota vehicles manufactured in North America since 1986.

The plant committed to a $530m spend in 2013, partly to support Lexus production. This latest spend brings Toyota Kentucky’s investment in the last four years to approximately $1.86bn. 

A recent study by the Center for Automotive Research shows Toyota Kentucky supports nearly 30,000 jobs across the state (direct, indirect, and spin-off). TMMK employees live in 80 counties and currently Toyota has more than 100 suppliers located across the state.