Toyota will add capacity at its engine plant in Huntsville, Ala. to increase North American production of four-cylinder engines.  The expansion will allow Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama (TMMAL) to produce 216,000 four-cylinder engines annually.  Production will begin by summer 2011.

The plant currently builds both V8 and V6 engines.  The expansion will bring its annual engine capacity to 577,000.

At least 240 new employees will be hired, raising total employment at TMMAL to more than 1,000.  New investment will be US$147m, bringing the total to US$637m.

“The four-cylinder engines to be produced in Alabama will be for Camry and RAV4,” said Jim Wiseman, vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

“Currently all engines for RAV4s made at our Woodstock, Ontario plant come from Japan, as well as engines for Camrys built at SIA in Lafayette, Ind.,” he said.  “We’re pleased to be moving all of this production to North America.”

He added that four-cylinder engines will continue to be built in Kentucky for Camry production at that plant.

Both of Toyota’s Bodine Aluminum castings plants, located in Troy, Mo. and Jackson, Tn., will also add capacity to provide cylinder heads and blocks to TMMAL. Combined investment for those two facilities will be US$25m with up to 60 new jobs.