How’s this for impact: automaker Toyota is a key contributor to Alabama’s economy, supporting an estimated 9,700 jobs at its Huntsville engine plant, suppliers, and their spinoffs.
A study by The Center for Automotive Research shows that for every 200 working men and women in Alabama in 2016, one was employed as a result of Toyota manufacturing, sales, logistics, or support operations.
Business Council of Alabama member Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama has approximately 1,400 employees. If you divide the 702,000 four-cylinder, V6, and V8 engines made there in 2016 by the number of employees, that’s the equivalent of 501 each.
Of course, not all team members are on the actual production line but, still, since the plant first was announced in 2001 and began making engines in 2003, all have contributed to the making a total of 5 million engines through last month.
“Toyota in Huntsville is one of Alabama’s premier manufacturing facilities, building 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines for six of its vehicles produced in North America,” said William J. Canary, president and CEO of the BCA. “The company has invested $864 million in Alabama, expanding four times. These are valuable jobs in a valuable industry for Alabama, which is home to some of the world’s great automakers.”
One third of all Toyota vehicles manufactured in North America are powered by a Huntsville-built engine. “It’s a testament to the company’s continued belief in Alabama’s workforce and a testament to the highly skilled Toyota team members who make the heart of a Toyota car or truck or SUV,” Canary said.
Between its engine plant and 25 dealerships, Toyota is responsible for 2,500 direct jobs. Statewide employment in Alabama in 2015 was slightly more than 2 million men and women so the company’s employment contribution was 9,700, or just under 0.5 percent.
Toyota’s Alabama employees earned $401 million in 2015, and after taxes a total of $304 million, according to the CAR study that looked at the 19 states in which Toyota had significant manufacturing or other operations in 2015.
Toyota recently announced a $10 billion investment in its U.S. facilities over the next five years as part of the company’s plan to build vehicles where they are sold and make existing plants even more competitive.
In December, veteran Toyota Motor North America employee and BCA board member David Fernandes was named Toyota Alabama president to succeed Jim Bolte, who became TMNA group vice president of manufacturing efficiency, overseeing 15 North American manufacturing sites.