Missouri’s automotive manufacturing sector received another boost today as Gov. Jay Nixon announced a $3 million expansion of Toyota Bodine’s Troy manufacturing plant, a move expected to create 35 new jobs. The Governor joined Troy Mayor Mark Cross in breaking ground on improvements to Cherry Blossom Way, which will facilitate the expansion by allowing for more efficient and safer access to the facility.

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“By paving the way for new jobs and investment at this facility, today’s groundbreaking marks another important milestone for this company, this community and Missouri’s resurgent automotive manufacturing industry,” Gov. Nixon said. “Just a few years ago, many observers thought Missouri’s auto industry was down for the count. Today, it’s revving up – creating jobs and spurring growth here in Troy and across our state. By pursuing proven, fiscally responsible policies and making smart, strategic investments, we will continue to move this industry and our economy forward.”

Bodine Aluminum, founded in St. Louis in 1912, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. and a manufacturer of casting parts. The Troy facility, which opened in 1990 and currently employs 465 workers, produces four cylinder, six cylinder and eight cylinder aluminum castings as well as transmission cases and housing parts to support Toyota assembly operations throughout North America.

“With balanced budgets, skilled workers and well-developed infrastructure, Missouri is a great place to do business,” Bob Lloyd, president of Bodine Aluminum. “We appreciate the support from the state and city that helped make this expansion possible, and look forward to many more prosperous years to come in Troy.” Read more here…… (please put this entire story on our website and then link to it here. The rest from this point does not need to go into the update.)

Since taking office, Gov. Nixon has made it a top priority of his administration to reenergize the Missouri automotive industry, which had experienced years of steady decline. Lloyd served on Gov. Nixon’s Automotive Jobs Task Force, which the Governor established on his first full day in office to develop strategies to bring next-generation vehicle production to the state.

In the summer of 2010, the Governor called a special session of the General Assembly to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, a package of strategic incentives to attract next-generation automotive manufacturing to the state.

As a result of these efforts, Missouri’s automotive manufacturing industry has rebounded. In January 2011, Ford Motor Company committed to retaining the nearly 4,000 jobs at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo. In October of that year, Ford confirmed plans to invest $1.1 billion and create 1,600 new jobs at the facility as part of a historic expansion that includes construction of a new stamping plant and production of the Ford Transit van, previously built only overseas. This past May, Ford announced that it would hire an additional 900 workers in Claycomo for a third shift of F-150 production.

In November 2011, General Motors announced plans to create more than 1,600 jobs and invest $380 million to bring production of the newly-redesigned Colorado pickup to Wentzville and support demand for its existing vehicles. This June, GM announced an additional $133 million investment at the facility to add a third stamping press.

Missouri’s growing automotive industry has helped spark a parallel resurgence across the state by automotive suppliers such as Toyota Bodine. In May, Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, an industry leader in interior component supplies, announced plans for a $45 million facility that will create 263 new jobs in Riverside. In June, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chrome-plated plastic auto parts, SRG Global, announced a $4.2 million capital investment in its plant in Portageville. Adrian Steel is constructing a new manufacturing plant in Kansas City to support Ford’s Claycomo Plant and earlier month, Leggett & Platt, a manufacturer of seating components, announced a $5.1 million investment in its Carthage facility.

Bodine Aluminum, a Toyota Motor Manufacturing company, operates three facilities producing engine parts for North American manufactured Toyota vehicles. In Missouri, Bodine employs more than 700 Team Members, who produce cylinder heads, engine blocks, transmission cases and housings, and engine brackets that help to power the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza and the Lexus RX 350.

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