On Thursday, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV) announced plans to upgrade the Buffalo facility to expand upon engines produced for their vehicles. An additional $210 million US has been committed to the project, and 100 new jobs are expected to result from the expansion.

The upgrade in the facility puts the total investment into the Buffalo plant at $1.8 billion and in excess of 2,000 people will be employed at the facility. The most recent investment will provide new equipment for the six-cylinder engine line while the added jobs will be to boost production for RAV4 four-cylinder engines. 100 new positions are being slated for a third shift on the four-cylinder line due to demand for the compact SUV, bumping output my 70,000 engines per year.

TMMWV President Srini Matam said, “Today’s announcement represents Toyota’s continued commitment to our customers as well as our community. We are thrilled to expand our Toyota family and continue our long-standing commitment to provide top-quality engines and transmissions for our customers.”

Lauded by government

The engine investment is seen as a positive move for West Virginia industry and Toyota’s commitment to the region. WV Governor Jim Justice said of the announcement, “Toyota’s commitment to increase its investment in West Virginia and into our hard-working West Virginians prove they continue to be a wonderful business partner right here in the Mountain State.

“This is such exciting news for West Virginia’s business community as well as our families that businesses are choosing to grow their organizations here. Toyota is a wonderful example of how a global company can be successful right here in West Virginia.”

Likewise, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va) said, “Since Toyota first came to West Virginia more than 25 years ago, they have expanded their operations multiple times in Buffalo and proven to the country that our state has the skilled and dedicated workforce necessary for any company to be successful here. I have seen this dedication and strong work ethic of the Toyota Team Members firsthand during facility visits, and I’m glad that today’s announcement will create new job opportunities for hardworking West Virginians to pursue.

“I’m thrilled that the Buffalo engine plant is continuing to play a key role in producing the engines and motors that power U.S. vehicles as Toyota continues to develop and incorporate exciting new technologies into their fleet. West Virginia has a long and productive relationship with Toyota, and this announcement today further solidifies the company’s commitment to investing in our state and our workers.”

An off-key announcement?

Just eight days previous, Toyota Motor Corp released details for two new EVs and a plug-in hybrid model to serve the United States. The gas-powered engine investment may be necessary to meet demand, however it starkly contrasts Toyota’s stated goal of having 40% of their new car sales electrified by 2025 and almost 70% by 2030. Since the upgrades to the engine plant won’t be complete until 2022, the impression is that Toyota is firmly planting roots in the ICE vehicle market.

Did you enjoy this article from Jason Unrau? Read other articles on CBT News here. Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.