Dawn Kent Azok
July 3, 2015

Total investments by Japanese automakers in their U.S. operations reached nearly $43 billion last year, according to new data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

That’s up from $40.6 billion in 2013.

Direct employment at the automakers also grew to 91,122, up from 82,816 the previous year.

“These figures demonstrate the ongoing commitment of Japanese automakers to the U.S. auto market and they signal a new day in Japanese brand auto manufacturing in America,” Ron Bookbinder, General Director of JAMA USA, said in a prepared statement.

In Alabama, Japan’s Honda and Toyota each have a major manufacturing presence, and they have been part of the growth.

Honda’s $2 billion, 4,000-worker auto assembly plant in Talladega County recentlykicked off production of the redesigned 2016 Pilot SUV and officially opened a $71 million, highly-automated engine assembly line.

During the past three years, the plant has announced new investments of more than $508 million for projects to improve flexibility, enhance quality and increase production. It also has added more than 450 jobs.

As for Toyota, the automaker’s Huntsville engine plant last year marked an $80 million expansion project and the production of its 3 millionth engine.

It is the only Toyota plant worldwide to produce four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines under one roof.

Source: AL.com

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