Toyota has marked 20 years of West Virginia plant production with the announcement of a US$400m spend at the factory.

Since inception, TMMWV has had eight expansions to its engine and transmission lines. The $400m spend over the next four years will further modernise its operations. Among the projects is a conversion of the current generation six-speed transmission lines to next generation eight-speed transmission lines.

The only Toyota plant in North America that makes both engines and transmissions, TMMWV produces more than 650,000 engines and 740,000 transmissions annually. The $1.4bn factory currently makes four- and six-cylinder engines for the Corolla, Sienna, Highlander and Lexus RX 350, as well as transmissions for the Camry, Avalon, Sienna, Highlander (US) and RAV4 and Lexus RX 350 (Canada) models built in North America. A new transmission rolls off the assembly line about every 25 seconds, with four-cylinder engines rolling off every 30 seconds. Those are the fastest production times for Toyota, globally.

In 2008 and 2009 no worker was laid off despite the plant being shut down for three months during the great recession. During that time, team members trained, did community service or volunteered for other organisations and still received paychecks from Toyota.

The plant has spent more than $8m on various philanthropic and educational initiatives the past two decades. Workers have also contributed tens of thousands of volunteer hours including continued relief efforts for those devastated by deadly floods three months ago.