Auto Industry News
Toyota's First North American Hybrid Production Begins in Kentucky
October 12, 2006 – Georgetown, KY - Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) celebrated the production launch of the Camry Hybrid today – Toyota's first hybrid vehicle produced in North America.
The addition of hybrid production represents a $10 million investment at TMMK, which will
build approximately 48,000 Camry Hybrid vehicles per year.
TMMK was established in 1986 and is Toyota's largest plant in North America. It employs approximately 7,000 team members and currently builds the Camry, Avalon and Solara.
The plant has the capacity to build 500,000 vehicles annually. Since its inception, TMMK has built about 6.7 million vehicles, and the plant's current investment is $5.4 billion.
"We are proud, excited and honored to be Toyota's first plant in North America to build a hybrid vehicle," said Steve St. Angelo, President of TMMK. "It's a great tribute to the tremendous ability and skill level of all of our team members, who have been building the Camry, America's number one selling sedan."
"America's hybrid leader now sells a Camry hybrid made in America," said Don Esmond, Toyota Motor Sales senior vice president, Automotive
Operations. "Production at the new Kentucky plant marks an exciting chapter in Toyota's history and a monumental step toward our ongoing commitment to hybrid technology."
The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive System consists of gas and electric power sources that
are complementary and produce a combined 187 horsepower. This system varies power between gas and electric, or both, as needed. The first-half of the system consists of a
2.4 liter four cylinder engine, assembled at TMMK's Power Train plant. The Atkinson-cycle engine generates 147 hp and is coupled to a continuously variable transmission. The
second half of the Hybrid Synergy Drive equation consists of a small, high torque electric
motor that produces 141 horsepower, an ultra-small inverter with a specially designed
compact battery and a transaxle to provide the economy and seamless performance hybrid drivers seek.
The Camry Hybrid joins a growing Toyota and Lexus hybrid lineup in the U.S., which currently includes the groundbreaking Toyota Prius, Lexus RX 400h luxury hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), Toyota Highlander Hybrid mid-size SUV, and the 2007 Lexus GS 450h hybrid luxury sedan. In 2007, Lexus will be adding the LS 600h to the hybrid lineup. Since Toyota began selling hybrid vehicles in North America in 2000, the company has sold approximately
420,000 hybrid vehicles here. In 1997, Toyota became a pioneer in the industry by launching
the Prius, a mass-production hybrid vehicle with outstanding environmental performance.
Toyota has positioned hybrid systems as a key technology for the twenty-first century and is taking measures to promote the widespread use of hybrid vehicles.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957. By 2008, Toyota will
have the annual capacity to build about 2 million cars and trucks in 14 plants across North America. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America, which sell more than 2.5 million vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs nearly 40,000 people in North America. Toyota's investment in North America is valued at more than $17.6 billion,
and annual purchasing from North American suppliers totals more than $29 billion.