Production began at Bodine Aluminum, Inc. (Bodine), a Toyota subsidiary which casts aluminum engine blocks.
Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Matt Kisber joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America (TMMNA) president Seiichi Sudo, Bodine president Bob Lloyd and the company’s 50 team members in unveiling the first block.
Bodine, located on a 200-acre site in the Airport Industrial Park, will eventually employ 220 and invest $164 million. Bodine will cast about one million engine blocks annually and beginning in 2007 will have the capacity to cast 270,000 aluminum transmission cases and housings annually.
The initial Jackson-made V6 engine blocks are destined for Toyota’s engine plant in Kentucky, and then into the Toyota Camry and Avalon sedans also made in Kentucky.
“Engine blocks, the heart of Toyota engines known for high quality, durability and efficiency, will be manufactured by these outstanding team members right here in Jackson,” Sudo said.
“I hope the people of West Tennessee are proud that in the future their workmanship will be found in the majority of Toyotas to be sold on this continent,” Lloyd said.
Bodine was founded in 1912 and became a Toyota subsidiary in 1990. The company’s two plants in Troy and St. Louis, Mo., produce aluminum cylinder heads, aluminum cylinder blocks and other aluminum castings for most of Toyota’s North American-produced vehicles. Bodine employs about 1,100 in its three facilities.
Toyota has 11 vehicle manufacturing and parts facilities in North America, and is building new vehicle plants in San Antonio, Texas and Woodstock, Ontario.
By 2008, Toyota will have the annual capacity to build 1.81 million cars and trucks, 1.44 million engines, and 600,000 automatic transmissions in North America. The company’s direct investment is $16.3 billion with annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totaling about $26 billion. Toyota directly employs 38,000 in North America where it produces the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, and Lexus RX330.