Toyota investing $1.3 billion in Kentucky plant

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The Georgetown factory, which produced more than 500,000 vehicles a year ago, will receive new equipment and a new paint shop as the 2018 Camry transitions to the Toyota New Global Architecture that will underpin a raft of new and updated models.

President Donald Trump took credit for Toyota Motor Corp. investing $1.33 billion in an existing US factory, championing spending by a Japanese automaker he's blasted for building a plant in Mexico. The plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, is Toyota's biggest in the world, with 8,200 workers.

Toyota is gearing up for production of the revamped 2018 Camry featuring a new exterior design, an upgraded interior and a new engine. The auto will be the first in North America to adopt the Toyota New Global Architecture system for designing, engineering and manufacturing vehicles.

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"This major overhaul will enable the plant to stay flexible and competitive, further cementing our presence in Kentucky", said Wil James, president of the plant, which also assembles the Avalon and the Lexus ES 350.

Toyota joins a host of automakers including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda Motor Co and Daimler AG that have announced investments in the United States since Trump won the USA election.

In January, Trump criticized a $1 billion factory in Mexico where Toyota will begin making Corolla compact cars in 2019.

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Toyota already makes its popular Camry sedan in a massive plant Georgetown, Ky. - and the carmaker will spend more than a billion dollars there to update the way it builds the vehicle. This is an all-time high after recently adding over 700 people to support the upcoming launch of the 2018 Camry. That was roughly a quarter of Toyota vehicles produced in North America.

Last year, the Kentucky plant produced more than 500,000 vehicles.

Toyota was one of several automakers targeted for criticism by Donald Trump as president-elect because of the Corolla plant investment in Mexico.

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