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Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama marks start of 4-cylinder engine production

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc. (TMMAL), an engine-production subsidiary of Japan-based Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), held a line-off ceremony to mark the beginning of four-cylinder engine production. The 10-year old plant now has the capacity to produce approximately 216,000 4-cylinder engines, 146,000 V6 engines, and 144,000 V8 engines per year.

TMMAL-produced 2.5-liter and 2.7-liter four-cylinder engines will go into the all-new 2012 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Venza. Toyota subsidiary Bodine Aluminum, Inc. (Bodine Aluminum), which produces the cylinder heads and blocks for the four-cylinder engines, has increased its production capacity accordingly at its plants in Troy, Missouri and Jackson, Tennessee.

At TMMAL, the production represents an additional investment of approximately US$147 million and at Bodine Aluminum, US$25 million.

TMMAL was established in 2001 as TMC’s first outside-Japan V8 engine plant for trucks and SUVs. After starting production in 2003, it added V6 engines to its lineup in 2005, and, in January 2008, reached a cumulative engine production of one million units. The introduction of four-cylinder engine production is intended to meet expected steady market demand for vehicles equipped with such engines and to increase the autonomy of TMC’s operations in North America.



It seems obvious that improved, higher power 4-cyls (and latter 3-cyls and 2-cyls units) will replace heavier V-6 and even V-8 in the very near future, specially in HEVs and PHEVs. Lighter weight aluminium and composites ICE will also become common place soon.

The current trend is to lighter engines, drive trains, frames, bodies, windows, doors, ancillaries, batteries etc. Many of the future cars will weight less than one tonne instead of the current 2 to 3 tonnes.

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