Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America (TEMA) has broken ground on a 700-acre site in York Township for an expansion of Toyota's Research and Vehicle Development operations in North America.

Government officials and community leaders joined Toyota executives to celebrate this milestone.

"Toyota is committed to building a world class research and development operation in Michigan and today we break new ground as we move forward with the next phase of Toyota Technical Center's future," said Yasuhiko Ichihashi, president of Toyota Technical Center.

Toyota Technical Center will be constructing an engineering design facility (350,000 square feet and $150 million investment) and a safety test facility (180,000 square feet and US$37m investment) during the first phase of construction. In addition, there will be 400 new jobs added by 2010. Currently, there are 756 team members that work at TTC's R&D operations in Michigan.

"The Toyota Technical Center represents a win for Michigan and our workers, and exemplifies the kind of jobs we want to continue to work to bring to our state," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.

"Our reputation as an automotive powerhouse brought Toyota here, and we will continue to attract R&D and advanced manufacturing jobs based in the auto industry here because of our global leadership in automotive technology."