With spring in the air, all sorts of plants are beginning to grow and that includes plants of the automotive manufacturing variety. This is the case in Blue Springs, home to Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, where the automaker has committed $170 million for production of the new Corolla using a platform called “Toyota’s New Global Architecture” or TNGA.
The plant currently produces 170,000 vehicles annually and employs over 1,500 people.
TNGA improves Toyota vehicle performance in virtually every category while advancing and streamlining the company’s product development process. The monies will be used for a complete overhaul and replacement of the current production lines, a move Toyota officials say enables the facility to stay competitive globally.
“We will be able to respond quicker and be more flexible in order to meet market demands down the road,” explained Sean Suggs, Toyota Mississippi President. “Toyota knows that you have to put in the effort to get the results, and this is just the beginning of that effort.”
Toyota says the investment will create 400 plus new jobs over the course of the next year. This recent commitment is the latest in Toyota’s effort to invest $10 billion in its U.S. facilities over the next five years, and brings the current total to $4.27 billion. Toyota’s total investment in the U.S. over the past 60 years is $25 billion, with more than a billion of that going to Mississippi since 2007.
“For more than a decade, Toyota has been a valued corporate partner to Blue Springs and the state of Mississippi,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. “Toyota’s commitment to building a sense of community is illustrated by the company’s continued investment in its operations and philanthropic efforts throughout the region.”
“I’m very proud of our team members and the partnerships we have developed across the state,” Suggs added. “These jobs will support production of the all-new Corolla, and we are excited to build more of them for our loyal customers.”
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi also held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new visitor and training center designed by local architecture firm JBHM. The 15,000-square-foot facility will include meeting and training spaces for up to 120 people with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology. A 5,000-square-foot area with interactive exhibits that showcase Toyota’s Production System and Mississippi’s economic development are also planned.
The visitor and training center will open to the public in November 2019.