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Toyota to boost jobs, engine output of W.Va. plant

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Toyota Motor North America said it will invest $210 million into its engine and transmission plant in Buffalo, W.Va., to expand production of I-4 engines there, adding 100 jobs and a third shift at the plant.

The additional production capacity is expected to begin in the second half of 2022, and the added jobs will bring employment at the plant near Charleston, W.Va., to more than 2,000, the automaker said in a Thursday statement.

The investment will be used to upgrade the plant’s current six-cylinder production line with additional equipment and machinery to make it more flexible, the automaker said. The additional jobs will allow the plant to boost engine production for the RAV4 by 5,900 engines per month.

The 25-year-old plant was originally championed by former U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., through his longtime friendship with the Toyoda family.

The plant annually produces nearly 1 million engines and transmissions for vehicles assembled in North America, including the Toyota Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, RAV4 and Sienna, as well as the Lexus ES and RX350.