Governor Kay Ivey slipped the white gloves over his hands and someone handed him a key and it was time to go to work.
After all, you can’t celebrate the opening of a new $ 288 million engine production line that is the length of 1½ a football field if an engine that comes out of that line doesn’t pass inspection.
“He’s a winner!” Ivey said, holding his key above his head.
In a ceremonial ceremony, Ivey joined other Toyota officials in formally inspecting the new engine to be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Huntsville.
It is a project that has lasted for two years in the factory where the engine of the Toyota Tundra will be built exclusively. The two engines are the electric-powered twin-turbo hybrid V6 and the gasoline twin-turbo V6.
The engine itself received a rock star treatment – shown in the spotlight and behind a falling curtain and smoke machines adding to the effect with the most appropriate opening riffs of the “Born to be Wild” explosion. “from Steppenwolf.
Run your engine
Get out on the highway
“It was my first (engine inspection),” Ivey said afterwards. “I just enjoyed having this key in my hand.”
To top off the event, a Tundra pickup truck pulled up to the edge of the tent and cranked up its engine – providing its own soundtrack of sorts.
Ceremony aside, Monday marked a day to remember for the North Huntsville Engine Manufacturing Plant. The facility has been expanded five times since it was inaugurated in 2001 and now has the capacity to produce 900,000 engines per year. One-third of all Toyota engines for vehicles manufactured in North America are produced at the Huntsville plant.
The latest expansion – first announced in March 2019 – also created 450 new jobs, bringing the total number of jobs to 1,800. The new engine lineup, at 142 meters, is Toyota’s longest.
“It’s a great day to celebrate Toyota Alabama’s 20th anniversary,” said Ivey. “They turned out to be great corporate citizens, great employers and I was so proud to see so many team members in these blue shirts stand out. Not only are they smart and capable, but they are hard working and very successful. “
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle read a proclamation Monday declaring “Engine Line Cut Celebration Day” and Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said it was “the one of our happiest hours here in Madison County ”.
But with the governor, the smoke machines, and the celebratory theater gone, Toyota found itself with its team of employees who now have even more engines to build.
“To our Biturbo V6 team members and to all of the team members who put their time and effort into this line, thank you very much for your dedication to making this project a success,” said Jason Puckett, President. of Toyota Alabama. “It takes a great team to get to where we are today. “