The company will invest more than $600 million into its Princeton, Indiana plant.
Ford and GM aren’t only two automakers investing in American jobs. Toyota today announced an expansion of its Princeton, Indiana plant, which will see more than 400 new jobs created in the U.S. by 2020.
The investment totals $600 million, and will help meet the growing demand for the Highlander midsize SUV. The plant will get a much-needed modern upgrade, including things like retooling, new equipment, and advanced technologies in anticipation of an additional 40,000 Highlander SUVs that will be produced there annually.
"This announcement shows Toyota’s commitment to continued U.S. investment," the company said in a statement. "This expansion is part of Toyota’s localization strategy to build vehicles where they are sold."
Last year, the Toyota Princeton plant produced 40,000 Highlanders, the highest in the company’s 20-year history. The third-generation of the SUV, which has been on sale since 2013, saw 191,379 units moved in 2016. The number signifies a 20 percent increase over the year prior, all of those Highlanders being built in the U.S.
Back in January, President Trump threatened the Japanese automaker in production of its Mexican-built Corolla, saying in a tweet, "Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax." The new Guanajuato plant will employ more than 2,000 people in production of the small sedan and have a capacity of up to 200,000 cars when completed in 2019.
The new investment will add on to the more than $21.9 billion the company has already invested in its U.S. operations in the past 30 years. With more than 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships, and 25 million vehicles, the company has employed over 136,000 people in the U.S. alone.
2017 Toyota Highlander
Toyota Indiana knows how to ring in the New Year! The company will add 400 jobs at the plant in Princeton, investing $600 million to meet the strong and growing demand for the Highlander midsize SUV and modernize the entire plant. The investment will be used for retooling, new equipment and advanced technologies to make the plant more competitive. The project is scheduled to begin in fall 2019 and will add 40,000 Highlanders annually.
This expansion project is part of Toyota’s localization strategy to build vehicles where they are sold. During the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Jim Lentz, chief executive officer, Toyota Motor North America, announced that the company would, “invest an additional $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years. This investment will be used to make the existing plants even more competitive.”
This announcement shows Toyota’s commitment to continued U.S. investment. The Princeton, Indiana plant produced over 400,000 vehicles last year, the highest in its 20-year history. “The Highlander has been a great vehicle for our plant and we are excited to deliver even more of them to our loyal customers,” said Millie Marshall, president of Toyota Indiana. “This is a true testament to our team members and their dedication to producing quality vehicles.”
The third-generation Highlander made its debut at the Indiana plant in 2013 and has continually exceeded customer expectations. The Highlander received the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognizing good crash protection across the board.