News of May 16, 2001
Toyota's West Virginia Powertrain Facility Launches Automatic Transmission Production
West Virginia Team Members Become First Outside Japan to Build Automatic Transmissions
Buffalo, W.VA. - Team members at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV) made company history today by becoming the first outside Japan to build Toyota’s automatic transmissions. The milestone was celebrated this morning during a ceremony for team members and company officials. Toyota Motor Corporation Director Yoshito Kato gave the "thumbs up" signal after a final inspection of the first transmission.
Tomoya Toriumi, president and CEO of TMMWV, praised the West Virginia team members for their hard work during the start-up period. "Making Toyota’s automatic transmissions is a very difficult process. But I have been very impressed by our team members’ outstanding performance during the past few months of training. Building these transmissions is a very high honor for our team members, our company, and our state."
The Buffalo engine and transmission facility now employs approximately 800 people. At full production, the 150,000 square foot transmission facility will have approximately 200 team members and an annual production capacity of 360,000 units. The automatic transmissions will be installed in America’s best selling car, the Camry, built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) in Georgetown, KY, and the four-cylinder Camry Solara, built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Canada, Inc. in Cambridge, Ontario.
This past January, TMMWV announced that in 2003 it will also begin making V6 engines for the Lexus RX300 and 4-cylinder engines for the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe. The RX300 and Matrix will be produced at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Canada, Inc. in Cambridge, Ontario, while the Pontiac Vibe will be produced at the Toyota/GM joint venture plant, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont, CA. The engine plant expansion will add another 200 jobs at TMMWV, bringing projected total employment to 1,000 team members by 2003.
The TMMWV engine facility has been in production since December of 1998. Team members are currently building 4-cylinder engines for Toyota Corollas produced in Fremont, CA, and V6 engines for Avalons and Sienna mini-vans produced in Georgetown, KY.
(May 10, 2001)