Alabama and Huntsville area officials joined Toyota management and staff to celebrate marking the production of the first V6 engine at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (TMMAL).

TMMAL now employs more than 500 and has capacity to make 120,000 V8 and 130,000 V6 engines annually. An expansion underway to increase V8 production will further boost employment to 800 and total investment to nearly a half billion dollars by 2006.

TMMAL, which opened in May 2003, supplies V8 engines for the Tundra full- size pickup and Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle produced in Indiana. The V6 engines will be used for Tacoma pickup trucks made in Fremont, California and Baja California, Mexico, as well as the Tundra. TMMAL will also provide V8 and V6 engines for a Tundra plant scheduled to open next year in San Antonio, Texas.

By 2008, Toyota will have annual capacity for 1.81 million cars and trucks, 1.44 million engines, and 600,000 automatic transmissions in North America. The company's direct employment is 38,000 and direct investment is nearly $16.3 billion with annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totaling nearly $25 billion.

Toyota's North American-produced vehicles include the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, and Lexus RX330.