Cars roll off the line at Toyota Indiana, which recently completed a $1.3 billion modernization project that includes 550 new jobs. Photo courtesy of PR Newswire/Toyota Motor North America.

PRINCETON, Ind.—Toyota Indiana (TMMI) invested an additional $700 million and added 150 new jobs to complete the transformation of its plant modernization project, announced in January 2017. The investment furthers Toyota’s commitment to better serve customers and build vehicles where they are sold, the company said in a release.

The project is reported to add 550 new jobs and represent a total new investment of $1.3 billion, which was used for retooling, new equipment installation, and advanced manufacturing technologies to further modernize the facility and meet strong demand for the new 2020 Toyota Highlander. Since 1996, Toyota Indiana’s total investment is approximately $5 billion and total employment exceeds 7,000. The plant has the capacity to assemble more than 420,000 vehicles annually, the release said.

“Part of Toyota’s tremendous success in North America is building vehicles where we sell them,” said Christopher Reynolds, chief administration officer, manufacturing and corporate resources for Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) “Our $1.3 billion investment at TMMI is further proof that our Hoosier workforce is rededicated to producing safer, high-quality vehicles our customers love to drive.”

The new investment is part of a broader commitment from Toyota to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over a five-year period through 2021. To date, Toyota has committed approximately $7.1 billion of the announced total; cumulative direct investment in the U.S. is reported to exceed $28.4 billion.

“Hoosier manufacturers are driving our economy forward, building the products that power our world every day,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “For more than 20 years, Toyota has been providing quality career opportunities and helping train Indiana’s future workforce. I am so grateful that Toyota remains committed to Indiana, and am thankful for all they are doing to continue making Indiana the best place to live, work, and play.”

The news was announced at a celebration in Princeton, where the 2020 Highlander recently began production. In addition to the plant investment, Toyota Indiana committed $1 million to a new, regional workforce program that will connect students with career opportunities in advanced manufacturing while still in high school.

“This program will allow students to get a jump start on their careers while receiving hands-on training with industry experts and educators,” said Leah Curry, Toyota Indiana plant president. “By collaborating with our local schools, we are creating a workforce solution, but, more importantly, providing greater visibility to student career options and pathways in the region.”

To improve the operational speed, competitiveness, and transformation at its North American vehicle assembly plants,  Toyota Motor North America will align, by 2022, its North American production based on platforms and common architectures.

Toyota Indiana (TMMI), in Princeton, will focus on production of mid-size SUVs and minivans, including the Toyota Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, and the Toyota Sienna. TMMI will cease production of the Toyota Sequoia by 2022.

Toyota Texas (TMMTX), in San Antonio, will focus on production of full-size body-on-frame trucks and SUVs. It will continue to assemble the Toyota Tundra and will begin assembly of the Toyota Sequoia starting in 2022. TMMTX will cease production of the Toyota Tacoma by late 2021. Production capacity at TMMTX remains at 208,000 units annually, and last summer, it announced a $391 million new investment for multi-vehicle production capabilities. The facility’s total investment tops $3 billion; employment is 3,200.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC), in Guanajuanto, Mexico, has been assembling Tacomas since 2004. In December 2019, TMMGT also began assembly of the Tacoma; both plants will continue to focus on production of mid-size trucks. Production capacity at TMMGT remains at 100,000 units per year; employment is 1,000.

As a result of this production alignment, there will be no reduction to direct jobs at any of Toyota’s facilities across North America, the release said.

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