Toyota plans $3 million in improvements in Walesboro

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing is planning $3 million in improvements to its plant on Inwood Drive in the Walesboro-area industrial park.

The majority of the investment, or about $2.1 million would be to construct testing facilities in Columbus. Company officials said last night that other Toyota plants in Japan and elsewhere already have testing facilities in place, and the construction of such facilities would work toward the company goals of regional development here.

The company is also planning on spending more than $800,000 to modernize the front protector assembly line equipment.

The company made a presentation to Columbus City Council last night as part of an application for a tax abatement on the investments. The company said the investment would let it retain 1,163 jobs and add five more new engineering positions. The council approved the request unanimously.

Under a tax abatement, property taxes are phased in over a 10-year- period.