Toyota's Kentucky facility is busier than ever.
The Toyota RAV4 was not only the automaker's best-selling vehicle last year but was also the best-selling SUV in the US in 2019. During its 26-year lifespan, the Toyota RAV4 has continued to win over new customers and bring existing ones back to Toyota showrooms for eventual replacements. Among the most popular of the current fifth-generation RAV4 variants is the RAV4 Hybrid and Toyota has now responded to increased demand.
The first 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has just rolled off the production line at the automaker's massive Georgetown, Kentucky production plant, already home to the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, and Lexus ES 300h. The RAV4 Hybrid is also built alongside the gasoline-only-powered RAV4 in Ontario, Canada.
"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 factory President Susan Elkington. "This milestone would not have been possible without the hard work of our dedicated team members and our recent investments. 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."
The Georgetown facility, officially called the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), is also the automaker's largest plant in the world, encompassing over nine million square feet of floor space and more than 8,000 full-time employees.
The decision to build the RAV4 Hybrid at TMMK makes complete sense. Last year, the hybrid SUV's sales increased by 92.3 percent, providing a major boost to give the RAV4 lineup its number one SUV sales status. TMMK's task of building hybrid variants of Toyota's most popular and recognizable models could increase in the near future. By 2025, Toyota aims to offer an electrified option, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, and battery electric, on all of its models, including Lexus.
Last November, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime was unveiled, which is not only the first-ever plug-in hybrid RAV4 but also the fastest and most powerful RAV4 ever made.