"10 Million Units": WV Toyota plant first in US to reach milesto - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

"10 Million Units": WV Toyota plant first in US to reach milestone

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    Monday, August 25 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:00:48 GMT
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    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.
BUFFALO -

 

The Toyota Plant in Buffalo celebrated a milestone Wednesday: They have made 10 million powertrain units in the plants history. 

"Frankly, we were a little surprised but very excited that we were able to make this milestone," said Millie Marshall, Senior Vice President for the plant.

Since 1998, the plant has been making parts for powertrains, a pivotal part of a car that creates energy for the vehicle.  

"Without this plant, there is no Toyota in the US," said Toyota's North America CEO James Lentz. "It is that critical."

At a ceremony Wednesday, Governor Tomblin presented a certificate honoring the company and the Buffalo plant. 

Tomblin said he has used the Toyota plant when asking other businesses to locate in the state. 

"When you work with the Japanese, it's always good to say, 'Toyota is here, and they've expanded,'" said Tomblin. 

The Buffalo plant is the first outside Japan to make 10 million units.

"The plant sold West Virginia," said Senator Joe Manchin at the ceremony. 

Toyota executives cannot say exactly how much they put back in the economy, but estimate this plant is, in part, responsible for sustaining 10,000 jobs across the country. 

Lentz said the plant will continue to bring jobs to this area of Putnam County.

"There is still room to grow but it's difficult to say when that will take place," said Lentz.