Car Industry

Toyota will invest $749 million in US production, report says

Toyota is whipping out its checkbook to further invest in American manufacturing in hopes of staving off tariffs.

Toyota's factories in Alabama and Kentucky are about to get a big cash injection from HQ in order to offset potential tariffs.

Toyota

Toyota has big plans in America, and to accomplish them it will be investing $749 million into its various US manufacturing facilities in addition to creating jobs for 586 people according to a report published Thursday by Reuters.

What could Toyota be planning that would have it ready to whip its checkbook out for a significant chunk of a billion greenbacks? More hybrids. Duh. This is Toyota we're talking about, so of course it's more hybrids. It also plans to ramp up its US-based engine production, presumably to help with that whole "more hybrids" thing.

But, business being business and politics being what they are right now, it also seems likely that Toyota's expansion of its US production is a show of allegiance to the powers that be in hopes of staving off increased tariffs on the goods that it imports from Japan. As The Dude says, "You gotta feed the monkey, man."

Keep in mind that Toyota and Mazda announced last year that they'd be teaming up on a $1.6 billion plant in Alabama and way back in 2017, it pledged to invest $10 billion by 2022. It then bumped that number recently by an additional $3 billion, of which Thursday's announcement is a part.

Toyota committed to putting the money from Thursday's announcement toward an additional 230,000 engines' worth of capacity at its current Alabama plant by the end of 2021, and it will also add new four- and six-cylinder engine lines to the factory. The plant in Kentucky will get a cash infusion to help it build Lexus ES and RAV4 hybrids.

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is set to give a speech in Washington, DC on Friday where presumably he'll flaunt that sweet $13 billion figure, and we only hope he's invested sufficiently in air horns and engaged the services of a qualified hype man on his behalf.

Toyota didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.