GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WDKY) - Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky announced Thursday it will invest nearly $280 million at its Georgetown plant, and new vehicles will soon be made at the facility.
Kentucky’s Toyota plant will begin production of the Lexus ES 300 Hybrid in May 2019, with a targeted 12,000 units produced annually.
RAV4 Hybrid production will start in January 2020 with an average capacity of 100,000 units.
The Georgetown plant also builds Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Lexus ES models with an annual capacity of 550,000 vehicles.
Overall, the plant represents an investment of more than $7 billion dollars.
Gov. Matt Bevin praised the announcement, saying, "To see this progress, to have a partner like Toyota, to be able to have somebody that is as truly as fine a corporate citizen of the world - and I mean this with respect to every other company, many of whom are here - I can not think of a finer... corporate citizen as Toyota has been, at every turn, in every community, how blessed we are to have you."
No new jobs are being added at the Georgetown plant, but Toyota says they are creating nearly 600 jobs across the country as part of their investment in U.S. manufacturing. Across the nation, the car manufacturer will invest $13 billion over 5 years.
"These latest investments represent even more examples of our long-term commitment to build where we sell," said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer for Toyota Motor North America. "By boosting our U.S. manufacturing footprint, we can better serve our customers and dealers and position our manufacturing plants for future success with more domestic capacity."
President Trump tweeted his support for the announcement, writing, "Congratulations @Toyota! BIG NEWS for U.S. Auto Workers! The USMCA is already fixing the broken NAFTA deal."
Thursday's announcement comes just days after Toyota announced a partnership with developers to create a 700 acre solar panel farm in Pike County.