Toyota is expanding hybrid powertrain manufacturing to continue being the number 1 hybrid vehicle maker in the world and they have set their sights on the United States of America.

A $373.8 million investment has been made by the automaker to enhance five manufacturing plants in the U.S. to be able to build hybrid powertrains and implement the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. Construction will begin this year with the target of making these plants operational by 2020.

The manufacturing plants will be located in various states and will handle a different set of components and parts for Toyota. Hybrid transaxles (hybrid vehicle transmissions) will be made at the manufacturing facility in Buffalo, West Virginia; expanding 2.5L engine capacity will be done in the Georgetown, Kentucky plant; production of the 2.5L cylinder heads and engine blocks, and hybrid transaxle cases and housings will be made at the Bodine Aluminum’s Troy, Missouri plant; and the Huntsville, Alabama plant will be designed to build engines that will complement TNGA.

Parts and components from these various plants will be used to build hybrid vehicles for the North American market such as the Highlander Hybrid.

Toyota is currently the world leader in gas-electric hybrids, surpassing 10 million in sales globally.

"This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them. This strategy is designed to better serve our customers and dealers, and positions our manufacturing operations to fulfill their needs well into the future," said Jim Lentz, CEO, Toyota Motor North America.