Toyota to invest nearly $600M to build electric SUVs in Kentucky

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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By Steve Bittenbender

The Center Square

One of Kentucky’s largest private employers plans to invest more than a half-billion dollars in its Scott County manufacturing plant.

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Toyota has agreed to build an electric-battery-powered SUV at its Georgetown factory. According to Gov. Andy Beshear, who made the announcement in Frankfort, the $591 million project marks the first time the automaker will build an electric vehicle at one of its U.S. plants.

“Toyota Kentucky set the standard for Toyota vehicle manufacturing in the U.S., and now we’re leading the charge with” battery-powered electric vehicles, said Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky President Susan Elkington, in a statement.

“Toyota has long been a vital part of the automotive industry in the commonwealth, and now the company is positioned to help lead us into the future,” the governor said.

With the EV commitment, Beshear said Toyota agreed to retain 700 full-time jobs at the TMMK plant. Just north of Lexington, Toyota is Central Kentucky’s largest private employer, with roughly 9,300 workers in Georgetown.

Beshear’s office issued a release after the announcement that said the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved the EV manufacturing project as a supplement to the state’s existing incentive agreement with Toyota.

That incentive package offers Toyota up to $240 million in tax incentives that are contingent on the company investing more than $2.7 billion in the state and keeping up to 8,950 workers at the Georgetown site.

The incentive package allows Toyota to retain a share of the new tax revenue it creates. The incentives are claimed as credits against TMMK’s income tax liability or wage assessments.

Toyota also announced it is investing an additional $2.1 billion in a North Carolina battery plant under construction in Liberty at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite. That pushes the total investment there to $5.9 billion, with batteries supplied to Toyota Kentucky – the company’s largest manufacturing site in America.