WASHINGTON: Toyota will invest $13 billion in the United States over the next five years, the company announced Thursday, increasing a prior pledge of investment by 30%.
The funding will lead to greater production of hybrid versions of the RAV4 and Lexus ES, with the production of the latter beginning in May at Toyota’s Kentucky manufacturing plant.
Over the next five years, Toyota said it will increase production capacity at existing manufacturing plants in Huntsville, Alabama; Buffalo, West Virginia; Troy, Missouri; and Jackson, Tennessee, creating nearly 600 new jobs, said Toyota.
The announcement comes just over a month after Toyota and Panasonic announced a joint venture to produce electric car batteries—a move that’s expected to employ 3,500 American workers by 2020.
President Donald Trump—a longtime champion of increasing American car manufacturing—praised Toyota’s announcement on Twitter Thursday, attributing the decision to the relatively new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
Toyota’s decision to increase hybrid car manufacturing plays into a growing trend: as emission restrictions tighten in Europe and the proof behind human-induced climate change becomes more solidified, hybrid cars are heading into the spotlight.
BMW announced it’d boost hybrid car sales three years ago. Volvo has pledged all new vehicles after 2019 will be electric or hybrid, and earlier this week Volkswagen said it’d make 22 million electric cars over the next decade.