Toyota Breaks Ground On Job Creating Expansion

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The golden shovels were at the ready this morning at Toyota.

A who's who of north Alabama leaders addressed a small crowd.  The Toyota plant will expand, creating more than 120 jobs.

Toyota Alabama President Jim Bolte explains what they've got in mind, "This new V8 engine that we'll be building will be sent to our Indiana plant, where they're building the Highlander.  That's a new line for us, and it's the reason for the expansion."

But this event puts a broader trend in the spotlight.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle explains, "It reinforces the commitment that industry has to this area and the jobs that are going to be developed not only at Toyota but all the way across the valley."

Toyota employees pass the shovels to elected officials, but Toyota will put a lot more into this project than just some fancy digging tools.

Bolte says, "It's an $80 million dollar investment, and it'll take us to over 700,000 engines that we can produce in a year.  It's going to put almost 1.1 million square feet under roof."

While they may not have moved much dirt so far, it's a resounding move for Toyota.

It's the facility's fourth expansion, and it looks like a major boon for the area.