Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia workers have become the first outside Japan to build the car maker's automatic transmissions.

The Buffalo engine and transmission facility now employs approximately 800 people. At full production, the 150,000 square foot transmission facility will have approximately 200 staff and an annual production capacity of 360,000 units.

The automatic transmissions will be installed in the Camry, built in Georgetown, Kentucky, and the four-cylinder Camry Solara coupe, built in Cambridge, Ontario.

In 2003, TMMWV will begin making V6 engines for the Lexus RX300 and four-cylinder engines for the Matrix and its Pontiac Vibe clone.

The engine plant expansion will add another 200 jobs in West Virginia, bringing projected total employment to 1,000 by 2003.

The engine facility has been in production since December 1998 and currently builds four-cylinder engines for Corollas produced in Fremont, California and V6 engines for Avalons and Sienna mini-vans produced in Georgetown.

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