American City Business Journal -
Bodine Aluminum Inc. is boosting its Jackson, Tenn., engine block casting manufacturing facility with an additional $40 million investment and 20 new employees after only seven months in business.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America announced its subsidiary's plans Monday. The investment will enable the plant to produce an increased number of transmission components to meet new Toyota production goals announced April 29. Bodine produces cast aluminum parts, soon to include transmission cases and housings, for the international car manufacturer.
The Bodine plant, located on 200 acres in the Airport Industrial Park, opened only seven months ago. It currently employs 25 people, but Toyota expects to increase it to more than 200 over time, with a goal of producing 1 million engine blocks annually. The facility is expected to produce 270,000 aluminum transmission cases and housings starting in 2007.
Atsushi Niimi, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, says Bodine's expansion reflects Toyota's efforts to build vehicles where they are sold.
Bodine President Bob Lloyd says the company appreciates the help it has received from state and local officials. "We have been warmly welcomed," he says.
Gov. Phil Bredesen says Bodine's plans to expand its operations so quickly after opening are a testament to the advantages of Tennessee as a base for new business.
One-third of the manufacturing jobs in Tennessee are auto-related, says U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Such jobs started filtering into the state in the 1980s, and continue to provide well-paying positions for Tennessee residents.
Founded in 1912, Bodine Aluminum became a Toyota subsidiary in 1990. The company's two additional plants in Troy and St. Louis produce aluminum cylinder heads, cylinder blocks and other castings for most of Toyota's North American-produced vehicles.
Toyota has 11 vehicle manufacturing and parts facilities in North America. By 2006, Toyota will have the annual capacity to build 1.66 million cars and trucks, 1.44 million engines, and 600,000 automatic transmissions in North America.