TMMK

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky President Susan Elkington, left, and Gov. Matt Bevin stand in front of a RAV4 Hybrid. Elkington announced Thursday TMMK will start producing the RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus ES 300 Hybrid.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) President Susan Elkington announced a $238 million investment into the Georgetown plant to produce the RAV4 Hybrid starting in January 2020 and the Lexus ES 300 Hybrid in May of this year.

The plant has a capacity of 100,000 RAV4s and 12,000 Lexus ES 300s as part of the total 550,000 vehicles coming off the lines. Those models will join the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrids and Lexus ES already produced.

The move positions TMMK to adjust to increasing demands for SUVs and plateauing and decreasing demands for sedans.

"This reflects the ability to be flexible in meeting changing market demands," Elkington said. "America loves the Camry, the best-selling sedan, and it loves the RAV4, the best-selling SUV. We are on the cusp of another chapter here."

Elkington said the change would not add jobs other than normal attrition and hiring, but the slowing demand of sedans won't lead to job cuts or stopping production of any models because of the workforce's ability to adapt as well.

Bevin said this is a continuation of Toyota's partnership with the commonwealth.

"This significant announcement puts the company in position to better serve its customers for years to come, and we look forward to Toyota, Scott County and Kentucky continuing to grow together," he said. "They have been as fine a corporate citizen as you can expect at every turn. We are blessed to have them in Kentucky."

For more details, see Saturday's News-Graphic.

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