Editor’s note: To view a video message from Gov. Beshear, click here.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky has furthered its position as a national leader in the automotive sector as leadership at Toyota made public their plans to increase investment to $1.3 billion at the flagship Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, reinforcing the company’s commitment to high-quality vehicles and long-term job stability.
The announcement builds on the company’s May 2023 announcement to invest $591 million in future projects and increase its job retention commitment with the state by 700 full-time employees to establish the company’s first U.S.-assembled battery electric vehicle (BEV) in Scott County.
“You cannot think of the Bluegrass region and Scott County without thinking of Toyota,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful that they continue to invest in our commonwealth and continue to set a standard for high-quality, well-paying jobs for our citizens. Thank you, Toyota, for yet another $1 billion-plus investment coming to Kentucky.”
Last year, Gov. Beshear announced Toyota will produce an all-new, three-row battery electric SUV at TMMK. The increased investment further supports that commitment and will add a battery pack assembly line at the facility, with batteries to be supplied by Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina. The project brings the plant’s total investment to nearly $10 billion since it began operation.
“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to vehicle electrification and further reinvesting in our U.S. operations,” said Kerry Creech, president of Toyota Kentucky. “Generations of our team members helped prepare for this opportunity, and we will continue leading the charge into the future by remaining true to who we are as a company and putting our people first for generations to come.”
This investment adds to the Georgetown operation’s history of groundbreaking technology and production. In 2006, TMMK was Toyota’s first plant in the United States to manufacture hybrid electric vehicles and later was selected to assemble fuel cell modules for use in hydrogen-powered, heavy-duty commercial trucks. The plant also plays a critical role in Toyota’s global electrification strategy, with an aggressive goal to offer electric or hybrid versions of every vehicle model by 2025.
TMMK is Toyota’s largest production facility globally and currently employs approximately 9,400 team members. Opened in 1988, more than 12 million vehicles have rolled off TMMK’s assembly lines, including the Camry, America’s best-selling sedan. Current production capacity is approximately 550,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines annually, with more than 350 suppliers nationwide – including over 100 in Kentucky.
Toyota is also committed to investing in its operational communities, primarily focusing on education and workforce development. Since making Kentucky home nearly four decades ago, more than $154 million in local donations continue to make sizeable impacts in the Bluegrass State.
Scott County Judge/Executive Joe Pat Covington thanked leadership at Toyota for their latest investment at TMMK: “Today’s announcement from Toyota and their continued significant investment in the facility in Scott County is a testament to the confidence that they have in our region and community to help make Toyota competitive in the market for many years to come. Many thanks to Toyota!”
Georgetown Mayor Burney Jenkins noted the company’s continued commitment to the local workforce: “Toyota continues to invest in our community to keep good, high-paying jobs that enable our citizens to compete in this region and state economy.”
Jack Conner, executive director of Scott County United Inc., said the increased investment reflects the Scott County community’s ability to support growing businesses: “The new announcement of the continued investment and reinvestment in the Georgetown/Scott County Toyota facility is further evidence of the strong economy in our community and the commitment Toyota continues to make to our city, county, region and state. Thank you, Toyota!”
Toyota’s increased investment and job retention build on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $30 billion in announced investments, creating more than 51,800 jobs. This is the highest investment figure secured during the tenure of any governor in the commonwealth’s history.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 topped $26 in consecutive years for the first time.
The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.
Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.
Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top 5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects.
Gov. Beshear announced a “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
To encourage investment and job retention in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in May 2023 approved a supplemental project to an existing Kentucky Jobs Retention Act (KJRA) program agreement with the company. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $240 million in cumulative tax incentives based on the company’s total cumulative investment of nearly $2.8 billion across the original and supplemental KJRA projects with an annual job target requirement of up to 8,950 over the term of the agreement.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates by claiming eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Toyota can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on TMMK, click here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.