Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he used his trip to Japan to strengthen existing relationships with Japanese companies.
Bentley told reporters Monday that his five-day trip focused mostly on relationship building, but also included some economic development and recruitment opportunities.
Bentley says he met with top executives from Honda and Toyota, both of which have operations in Alabama. He also met with executives at Hayashi Telempu, an automotive parts supplier.
Toyota is spending $150 million on equipment as part of its expansion at an engine plant in north Alabama. The car manufacturer said Thursday the machinery will help fill out space created during an $80 million plant expansion announced previously. The work is supposed to be finished by early 2014, and 125 jobs are being added in Huntsville. Once done, total employment will be 1,150. The company is expanding production capacity for V6 engines. The company also is adding new capacity at supplier plants in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn.