State and local government leaders, education officials, and business representatives all gathered in Scott County Monday for a formal announcement at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.
This event centered on engineering.
Toyota is unveiling its $80 million Production Engineering and Manufacturing Center at the Georgetown plant. It will serve as the home base for 600 Toyota engineers. Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz called it the hub of production engineering in this continent. “Really all of those ideas start here in Kentucky, going to this plant first and then they spread to the other 13 manufacturing facilities,” said Lentz.
The group of engineers is working to find the best way to make a vehicle, designing processes and layouts for Toyota plants. Lentz anticipates a quicker pace of technological change in the years ahead. “I’ve been in this business for almost 40 years and I will tell you the next ten years, there will be more advancements in this industry than the last 50. Whether it’s autonomous driving or whether it’s how people consumer transportation with ride sharing and everything else,” noted Lentz.
Governor Matt Bevin was among those taking a look at the new facility. “If every mechanically inclined eighth grader in America had a chance to walk through there, we would have more engineers than America would ever know what to do with,” said Bevin. “It is literally like a candy store for people who want to play with things, design things, build things and turn ideas into physical reality.”
After the ceremony, the governor noted the newest Toyota investment falls in line with his vision to make Kentucky the center of engineering and manufacturing excellence in the country.
Toyota announced last spring it would spend $1.3 billion at the Scott County assembly plant in line with its new global architecture program. Since 1986, the Japanese automaker has invested more than $ 7 billion in Kentucky.