TTC, MichiganUS – The $126m project, which includes the construction of two new buildings in York Township, got underway today with a groundbreaking ceremony. Besides a prototype facility for vehicle development and a supplier centre, the development will enlarge Toyota’s powertrain development facility at its Ann Arbor Township campus. The work will be completed by late 2016.

The supplier centre will support collaboration between Toyota’s purchasing group, the engineering team and supplier partners, while the newly expanded powertrain facility will be better positioned to develop engines and automatic transmissions for vehicles designed and manufactured in North America.

“The expansion of this campus is a key element of Toyota’s ongoing unification of our North American operations, which includes a new headquarters in Plano, Texas,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America. “Investments here in Michigan will intensify Toyota’s engineering, product development and procurement capabilities.”

Toyota is relocating 300 employees to Michigan, including direct procurement and supplier engineering development positions currently based in Erlanger, Kentucky, plus vehicle development and powertrain functions in California. The company says these moves further its commitment “to drive more local decision-making and ultimately faster, more precise response to the needs of the marketplace”.