It’s not just another week at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama Plant. Monday, team members welcomed the arrival of their 4 millionth engine, a 4-cylinder. Toyota notes that if you put all those engines back to back they’d stretch from Huntsville to Las Vegas.
“It was an exciting day,” said Jim Bolte, president of Toyota Alabama. “This is a testament to our team members – they are dedicated to building high-quality engines. And, whether it was the first in 2003, or the 4 millionth, the same amount of detail and craftsmanship goes into each one.”
“I can’t believe we hit 4 million,” said Tina Lane, Toyota Alabama team member who has been building engines on the line since the plant opened. “There is a lot of pride that goes along with it. Just think, 4 million Toyota vehicles around the world are being powered by our engines; that’s a big responsibility.”
Spend two shifts in the plant and you’ll see a lot of horsepower – nearly 2,500 engines are built each day which comes out 710,000 engines each year.
Here are some other factoids from Toyota:
- Since the start of production in 2003, the Huntsville plant has built 1 million 4-cylinder engines, 1.3 million V6 engines and 1.7 million V8 engines.
- The engines go into seven Toyota vehicles built in North America: Camry (America’s best-selling car), RAV4, Highlander, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra and Venza.
- The horsepower of 4 million engines reaches over 1 billion, which is enough output to launch 29 space shuttles.
The Huntsville plant, which employs approximately 1,300, is the only Toyota plant globally to produce the 4-cylinder, V6 and V8 engine under one roof, making it among the largest Toyota engine plants around the world. Also, it’s only one of two designated “model sustainable plants” in North America.
“We look to the Alabama plant as a leader. Every challenge it has faced, the team there exceeds any-and-all expectations,” said Osamu Ushio, executive vice president of operations and manufacturing, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. “That is why we continue to invest so much into the facility. They have what it takes to be successful – a strong group of team members who are dedicated to quality and safety. They should be very proud of the 4-millionth milestone.”
In the last 10 years, the plant has taken on five major investments and four expansions. Most recently, a project costing $230 million was completed that involved a boost to V6 production. That brings total plant investment to $864 million since the 2001 groundbreaking.