CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice and Senator Joe Manchin, speaking separately on MetroNews’ “Talkline,” confirmed a major investment at West Virginia’s Toyota plant.

The investment that was being announced Thursday morning is valued at $111 million and means hiring 123 new employees, the officials said.

Toyota officials said the expansion boosts the plant’s capacity to produce hybrid transaxles. It builds on capacity that was first announced two years ago.

“We are proud to add such a significant cost investment to Toyota West Virginia – not only financially but also in adding team members to the Toyota family,” stated Leah Curry, president of Toyota Manufacturing West Virginia.

“Doubling our production of hybrid transaxles in West Virginia solidifies our facility’s role in producing next generation engines and transmissions that will drive the future of Toyota’s advanced mobility technology.”

Manchin described a continued commitment by the company and its workforce.

“Toyota’s continued investment at their Buffalo, West Virginia manufacturing facility is a testament to the facility’s hard working employees and the success that comes with doing business in the Mountain State,” stated Manchin, D-W.Va.

Justice described Toyota as a valued corporate citizen.

“West Virginia is a great place, and we can grow business in West Virginia and we’re just really proud of what they’re doing,” Justice said.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also praised the expansion announcement.

“In West Virginia, Toyota represents more than just good jobs. It’s a company committed to improving our economy and investing in our workforce,” Capito stated.

“Today’s announcement further cements the strong community partnership Toyota has in our state. I’m excited to see how this new venture will continue to benefit our local communities and know West Virginia workers will be eager to fill the 123 new jobs coming to TMMWV.”

Toyota most recently announced an expansion in 2017.

That one was a $115.3 million investment to produce the company’s first American-made hybrid transaxles.

In hybrid vehicles, the transaxle takes the place of conventional transmission. It includes a motor, generator and power split device. The hybrid transaxle allows the vehicle to shift from electric to internal combustion power, or a combination of both. It enables the vehicle to generate electricity through regenerative braking.

The West Virginia-made hybrid transaxles are to be used in Highlander Hybrids that are built at Toyota’s Princeton, Ind., manufacturing plant.

Toyota’s total West Virginia investment represents $1.4 billion and 1,600 jobs, according to Manchin’s office.

“Long-term investments in West Virginia, by companies like Toyota, will continue to benefit out state’s economy, communities, and her people,” Manchin stated.

He invited job-seekers to an upcoming job fair, where Toyota and dozens of other employers will be represented. The senator said 230 employers will be represented at the job fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 22, at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

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