Toyota investing $374 million at 5 existing US factories

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Toyota Motor Corp. says it is investing $374 million at five U.S. plants to support the production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain.

The Japanese automaker announced the upgrades Tuesday at facilities in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Toyota says 2.5-liter engines made in Kentucky and transaxles produced in West Virginia will be used in North American-made hybrid vehicles, such as the Highlander SUV manufactured in Princeton, Indiana.

Toyota will create 50 jobs at its Huntsville, Alabama, plant, which will build engines for its cost-saving New Global Architecture production strategy - a sharing of common parts and components among different vehicles. None of the other upgrades announced Tuesday will result in immediate net job gains.

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