REGIONAL: Toyota announces 3,000 more jobs, $8B investment in Randolph

Toyota has announced plans to invest an additional $8 billion in its electric battery manufacturing site in Randolph County, including hiring another 3,000 employees. This announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Roy Cooper’s meeting with Toyota President Koji Sato during the SEUS/Japan Conference in Tokyo earlier this month. Toyota’s total investment in the Randolph County site will now total $13.9 billion and more than 5,000 jobs.

“Through the last few years of building relationships, including my most recent trip to Tokyo and meeting with President Sato, our partnership with Toyota has become stronger than ever, culminating in this historic announcement,” said Cooper. “North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy is bringing better paying jobs that will support our families and communities for decades to come.”

“Toyota’s continued investment in North Carolina is a testament to the state’s leadership as an electric vehicle hub – and why we’re the top state for business,” added N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “This expansion validates my commitment to aligning economic development with workforce development, ensuring we can provide a highly skilled workforce that meets the needs of Toyota and the state’s fast-growing clean energy industry, today and well into the future.”

“This investment reflects our commitment to electrification and carbon reduction, and it enables jobs and future economic growth for the region,” said Sean Suggs, president of Toyota North Carolina. “We are excited to see the continued energy and support of this innovative manufacturing facility.”

Toyota initially announced the Liberty project in 2021 with plans at the time calling for $1.29 billion for electric vehicle battery production and 1,750 new jobs. As the market shift to electric vehicles industry wide has accelerated, Toyota has increased its investment in North Carolina. According to Toyota, this new investment will increase capacity for electric vehicle battery production and will add new capacity to also produce batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The investment will add eight production lines will be added to the two lines previously announced.

Earlier in October, Cooper led North Carolina’s delegation to the Southeast US/Japan (SEUS/Japan) economic development conference in Tokyo to continue to build relationships with Japanese business leaders, including the leadership of Toyota. During the trip, Cooper met with Toyota’s leadership, including Chairman Akio Toyoda, President Sato and Executive Vice President Chris Reynolds, to discuss the Toyota battery project plans and progress and continue to build a strong relationship between the State and Toyota.

Since taking office, Cooper’s sustained engagement with Japanese leaders and employers has paid dividends for North Carolina’s economy. From his trip to Tokyo in 2017 to hosting the SEUS/Japan Conference next fall, Cooper has made it a priority to recruit good-paying jobs from Japanese companies in high-growth industries like aerospace, electric vehicles and biotech.

Nearly 30,000 North Carolinians go to work at Japanese-owned companies, with several thousand more scheduled to start in the next five years. In recent years, companies including Toyota, HondaJet and Fujifilm have announced significant investments in North Carolina communities.