Toyota had already earmarked more than $2.3 billion to modernize critical powertrain production plants in Tennessee and West Virginia when all of a sudden, the U.S. automotive market shuddered from both supply issues and a marked increase in buyer enthusiasm for electric vehicles. Those realities have prompted the world’s largest automaker to commit an additional, combined $90 million in additional upgrades to both Toyota facilities.
The West Virginia powertrain plant will receive a total of $73 million in additional funding from Toyota, which will increase its capacity to build hybrid transaxles to up to 600,000 units annually. Due to their heavy use of additional electronic components, transaxles for hybrid vehicles are typically more complex and heavier than their purely mechanical counterparts. A related project is going on at Toyota Tennessee, which will see a new $17 million investment in casting technology, which will allow the plant to fabricate up to a million transaxle casings per year, some of which will be destined for West Virginia operations, along with more than 1.8 million engine blocks annually.