Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Production Begins in Kentucky
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid production has begun at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, the company’s Georgetown-based plant.
Best-known for producing the top-selling Camry and the full-size Avalon sedan, TMMK now produces four electrified vehicles, including the Avalon Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, and Lexus ES 300h.
In 2019, RAV4 Hybrid sales surged 92.3 percent, helping the RAV4 become America’s best-selling SUV of 2019. With demand for electrified SUVs only expected to continue increasing, the automaker spent much of last year preparing to begin RAV4 Hybrid production at TMMK.
“We are excited to see the past nine months of preparation come to life with the completion of our first Kentucky-built 2020 RAV4 Hybrid,” said TMMK President Susan Elkington.
Related: Learn more about the RAV4 Hybrid’s features
“This milestone would not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated team members and our recent investments,” Eklington added. “We are proud to offer an alternative powertrain for each of the products we currently build and couldn’t be happier to add the popular RAV4 Hybrid to that list.”
Though TMMK now produces four electrified vehicles, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that number go up soon and quickly. Toyota plans to offer an electrified option for all of its Toyota- and Lexus-badged vehicles by 2025, including hydrogen fuel-cell options. Despite this, electrified vehicle sales currently make up only 13 percent of the company’s total U.S. volume.
Of all Toyota plants that could take on more electrified vehicle production, TMMK is likely the one best suited to the task. With more than 9 million square feet of floor space, it’s the largest Toyota plant in the world. It represents a $7-billion investment and employs more than 8,000 full-time team members.
Which Toyota vehicle will TMMK take on next? Our top guess would be the new RAV4 plug-in hybrid.
Related: What is Toyota Certification?
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.