Princeton, Ind. - 22 August 2014 - Toyota Indiana plans to invest $100 million and add 300 jobs by summer 2016 to boost production of the popular Highlander midsize sport utility vehicle. This expansion will bring Toyota Indiana’s overall investment to $4 billion.
Production of the third-generation Highlander began in the Indiana plant in December 2013 and from January through July 2014, Toyota sold about 90,000 Highlanders. Currently, Toyota Indiana builds the Highlander only in the West Plant alongside the Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle. To meet increasing demand for Highlander, annual production of up to 30,000 of the midsize SUVs will be added to Toyota Indiana’s East Plant where the Sienna minivan is built.
“The Highlander has been a great product for our plant,” said Toyota Indiana President Norm Bafunno. “Establishing Highlander as the ‘bridge vehicle,’ as we call it, between the East and West plants increases our ability to meet customer needs for our outstanding products. This exciting news is a true testament to the capability of our hard-working and dedicated team members.”
Toyota Indiana, the sole producer of Highlander in North America, also exports it to Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Europe. Sienna is shipped to South Korea, Pacific islands and other countries, and the Sequoia is exported to the Middle East, making the Indiana plant a global supply base for SUVs and minivans.
“Hoosier-built products like the Toyota Highlander are known around the world for their precision and quality. And with suppliers in all corners of the state, Toyota is helping to strengthen and grow Indiana’s economy,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Over the past 50 years, Toyota has built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where it operates 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employs more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Its 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013.
Source: Toyota USA