Due to increasing demand for the company’s Highlander mid-size SUV model, Toyota (IW 1000/8) will expand its plant in Princeton, Ind. The company announced last week that it will invest $30 million and create 200 new jobs at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. (TMMI), with new team members helping to increase production volume by 15,000 units.
This expansion raises total employment to approximately 4,700 and total plant investment to more than $4.2 billion.
“This capacity increase is to meet growing demand for the Highlander and is a part of our strategy to build vehicles where we sell them,” said TMMI President Norm Bafunno.
Toyota’s Indiana plant builds a gas version of the popular Highlander and will begin producing the hybrid version before year-end. The new production volume added will be the gas model version. Soon, Highlanders born in Indiana will find new homes with drivers in Russia and Australia as TMMI is set to begin exporting to those countries later this year, the company said.
TMMI currently employs 4,500 team members and builds the Highlander, Sequoia full-size SUV and Sienna minivan. Current production capacity is 300,000 vehicles and will increase to 350,000 later this year as announced in February 2012. Today’s news raises TMMI’s annual capacity to 365,000 vehicles by late 2014.
This announcement marks the company’s 10th production increase announcement in the past 20 months including Toyota plants in Huntsville, Ala., Buffalo, W. Va., Georgetown, Ky., and Ontario, Canada.
Cumulative investment total is approximately $2 billion, adding more than 4,000 jobs.