Toyota investing $210 million to expand West Virginia engine production

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By David Shepardson

© Reuters/EDGAR SU FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a Toyota logo at the Tokyo Motor Show

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said Thursday it is investing $210 million to expand engine production in West Virginia and add 100 new jobs.

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The Japanese automaker said it would boost capacity by 70,000 engines a year at the Buffalo, West Virginia plant, up from the nearly 1 million transmissions and engines it produces annually for vehicles assembled in North America.

The investment will increase assembly capacity of its four-cylinder engine line. The plant makes four- and six-cylinder engines for Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Lexus ES, Lexus RX350, RAV4 and Sienna.

The investment comes as automakers around the world are shifting more focus to electric vehicles and away from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.

Toyota says hybrid vehicles, which includes internal combustion engines, will be a key part of its vehicle strategy in the coming decade as other automakers focus more heavily on battery electric vehicles, which only run on electric power.

Toyota said last week that 16% of its U.S. sales were hybrid vehicles in 2020, a figure that will jump to at least 20% in 2021.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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