Toyota announced it will invest $1.33 billion in its largest plant in the world located in Georgetown, Kentucky where Toyota manufactures the Camry. In an interview with FOX Business, Toyota Motor Manufacturing President Wil James and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said the investment is part of a long-term strategy in Kentucky.
“This investment is just a continuation to the commitment that Akio Toyoda made for $10 billion investment over the next five years,” James told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
Besides the direct impact Toyota’s presence has on the state, Bevin says the automaker has attracted other companies to the state as well.
“This is huge, it really is. Toyota, we’re blessed by the fact Toyota employs more than 8,000 people here in Kentucky already, significant producer. They’ve attracted literally well over 100 other companies that have come here literally as peripheral players to them.”
Amid debate over a potential border-adjustment tax and efforts to bring more manufacturing back to the US, Bevin says it's a mistake to think of the Camry as a Japanese car.
“The most American-made car in the United States is the Toyota Camry made here in Kentucky. It is the most American-made car in the world.”
Pressed by Bartiromo about the potential impact of a border-adjustment tax, James said it would add to the costs of the Kentucky-built Camry. “We’ve kind of estimated that the border adjustment tax could potentially add an additional $1,000 on the top of our Camry.”
Because that cost would be passed onto consumers, James said, “We see that as a negative from the point of view of increasing the cost of products to customers.”
Bevin sees the investment as a testament to the quality of the workforce in Kentucky.
“It’s a compliment to those in Kentucky that already here, the employees that are here, the quality of the workforce, the fact that Kentucky is the hub of engineering and manufacturing in the country and that is only continuing to grow with significant investments like this from Toyota.”