Toyota Motor Corp.'s latest North American investment points toward a boost in vehicle production, although the Japanese automaker declined to be specific about that issue.
Toyota will spend $124 million on a new aluminum-castings plant in Jackson, Tenn., that will provide it with more than 1 million engine blocks annually after 2005.
The factory would double Toyota's U.S. output of engine blocks to more than 2 million a year. That raises the question of what Toyota intends to do with 2 million engines.
With all the plant projects and expansions on Toyota's drawing boards for North America, the company would build about 1,650,000 vehicles annually after 2006.
Despite those plans, the company says only that it plans to build 1.16 million engines here. That number includes the output from a new V-8 truck engine plant in Huntsville, Ala., which barely has started production.
The increase in block casting capacity could translate to more than 800,000 additional North American engines annually for Toyota.