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Toyota spending $210 million to expand West Virginia engine production

Toyota Motor said Thursday it is making an investment of $210 million to expand engine production in West Virginia and add 100 new jobs.

The Japanese automaker said it would increase the capacity by 70,000 engines a year at the Buffalo, West Virginia plant, up from the almost 1 million transmissions and engines it produces annually for vehicles assembled in North America.

The investment will boost the assembly capacity of its four-cylinder engine line. The plant makes four- and six-cylinder engines for Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Lexus ES, Lexus RX350, RAV4 and Sienna.

The investment comes as automakers across the world are shifting more focus to electric vehicles and away from automobiles powered by internal combustion engines.

Toyota says hybrid vehicles, which include internal combustion engines, will be a major part of its vehicle strategy in the coming decade as other automakers focus much more on battery electric vehicles, which only run on electric power.

Toyota said last week that 16% of its U.S. sales were hybrid vehicles in 2020, a figure that will increase at least 20% in 2021.

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