BUFFALO, W.Va. — The president of Toyota West Virginia says the plant’s continued efficiency has earned it more business.
The company plans to invest $240 million to add a production line of hybrid transaxles. The announcement was made Thursday at the Buffalo plant.
“This is the next generation of electrification,” said Srini Matam, president of Toyota WV.
The investment will provide new equipment and operational upgrades to modernize the facility.
“We’ve got more business,” Matam said. “It’s a great time for our company.”
Matam said manufacturing the hybrid transaxles will diversify their employees’ skill set and play a larger role in Toyota’s future of producing electric vehicles in North America.
He added a lot a great work is already happening in the community.
“Some of our engineers go to the communities to teach robotics to STEM students, so they’re a big influence,” he said.
Toyota West Virginia also presented $75,000 each to three area veteran’s support groups in honor of Veterans Day. Those groups include the Gold Star Mothers of West Virginia, The Fisher House at the Hershel Woody Williams VA Center in Huntington and The Woody Williams Foundation.
“At a time when it’s the COVID pandemic, it’s hard, for all the teams to get donations. We want to to be part of the support,” Matam said.
Toyota West Virginia annually produces about one million engines and transmissions for many North American-assembled vehicles. This year marks its 25th anniversary from groundbreaking and it has since been expanded or received new investment 11 times.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) attended Thursday’s ceremony and said they always raise $60,000-$70,000 every year to for veterans families, but had trouble getting the money to them because of the COVID pandemic.
“These special needs are different families of different times and survivors of people who have sacrificed. For Toyota to step up and fill in the gap that we weren’t able to fill this year really means an awful lot,” Manchin told reporters.
No new jobs are expected to be created as a result of the investment.