From home-grown businesses to international corporations that have invested here, many companies are finding out that West Virginia is a place that feels like home. Just ask Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. After 25 years in the state, this company is a great example of a business reaping benefits from saying #YesWV.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc., located in Buffalo, is one of the largest manufacturers in West Virginia. It’s also a major contributor to the state’s economy, Toyota’s only combined engine and transmission plant in North America and the only manufacturing plant in North America to produce hybrid transaxles. All that to say: Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. choosing West Virginia was, is and continues to be a big deal.
In celebration of Toyota’s 25 years in West Virginia and their recent announcement that they are expanding their Buffalo plant and adding 123 new jobs, here are a few highlights and accomplishments from the company’s time in the state.
After two decades, Toyota continues to invest in West Virginia
Today, Toyota’s $1.8 billion plant in Buffalo is a massive 2 million square foot facility where 2,000 people work. While the facility is now a cornerstone of the state’s economy, things were different 25 years ago.
In 1995, Toyota was looking for a site to locate its next plant. West Virginia successfully competed for the project. Toyota said #YesWV because of the state’s strategic location, proximity to other plants and low cost of doing business — all factors that make West Virginia attractive to businesses today.
“I think Toyota ultimately chose to do business in our state because of our location and the availability of good workers,” said Michael Graney, deputy secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce. “Toyota has a great training program and West Virginia has a workforce that is willing to learn and willing to work. This was a big attraction for Toyota and something the company knew it could build on.”
Over the years, Toyota’s Buffalo plant has become a major part of West Virginia’s economy and the local community. In addition to providing good-paying jobs, Toyota has supported small businesses in the state by sourcing local products for its supply chain. But the impact of having a well-respected company like Toyota in West Virginia goes beyond a boost to the economy. Toyota, which is well-known for charitable work, has also invested more than $10 million in local philanthropic and educational initiatives over the past two decades.
Toyota’s investments in West Virginia are paying back
Toyota’s history in West Virginia is a story of success, but the company’s recent investments are some of the most exciting. In the last five years, Toyota has announced plans to bring in next generation technologies to existing production lines that will allow the company to succeed and expand for years to come.
Recent investments include:
- In late 2016, the company invested $400 million in the Buffalo plant, with four new projects over the following four years. All four new products launched by 2018, with preparation including more than 8,300 hours of team member training.
- In 2017, the company announced a $115.3 million expansion to begin production of hybrid transaxles in 2020, making the Buffalo plant the first in North America to produce hybrid transaxles.
- In 2019, the company announced an additional $111 million investment to double the line capacity to 240,000 transaxles per year.
“The incredible relationship West Virginia has had with Toyota over the last two decades shows how committed our state is to its companies,” Graney said. “The dedication the entire West Virginia Department of Economic Development continues to demonstrate to our businesses and state is unmatched and we are so thankful to have companies like Toyota who continue to make West Virginia a great place to live and work.”
After 25 years, the relationship between West Virginia and Toyota continues to develop and sets a great example for companies who want to call the Mountain State home. The West Virginia Department of Economic Development strives to ensure Toyota always has reason to say #YesWV and our entire team is immensely grateful for the dedication they have to their employees and our great state. Here’s to 25 more prosperous years.