Creating 1,000 new Kentucky jobs, GE Appliances announced a $450 million investment in its Louisville facility Thursday to launch new products and boost capacity, while Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky announced a $460 million investment in its Georgetown facility a day later.
GE indicated it is targeting upgrades across operations at Appliance Park in Louisville, the company’s massive production complex, which will include increased production of refrigerators and clothes washers, the introduction of new refrigerator-freezer models, and a new assembly line to support its kitchen cleaning business.
Toyota’s announcement will start of a transformation of its 35-year-old Georgetown facility, aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, meeting a shifting consumer demand, and advancing future capabilities. Toyota also announced plans to transition 1,400 indirect employees into direct roles and said the transformation was largely done to prepare for future vehicle electrification, according to a press release.
“We are thrilled to welcome these game-changing investments in Kentucky’s economy, and we appreciate Kentucky Chamber members GE and Toyota for their continued commitments to the Commonwealth,” said Ashli Watts, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber. “The future is very bright, and we are committed to continued advocacy for pro-business policies that make Kentucky attractive for these types of investments.”
The Georgetown plant was Toyota’s first in the U.S. to manufacture hybrid electric vehicles in 2006, and recently, it announced it will assemble fuel cell modules for use in hydrogen-powered, heavy duty commercial trucks starting in 2023. The plant also plays a critical role in Toyota’s global electrification strategy, with an aggressive goal to offer electric or hybrid versions of every vehicle model by 2025.
The $450 million infusion into GE’s Appliance Park is the largest round of investments in recent years as part of the company’s growth strategy. In the past five years, GE Appliances invested more than $1.3 billion in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations, creating more than 3,000 new jobs — the majority of them in Kentucky.