Toyota US plant to create 400 new jobs – increase output of Highlander SUV

Toyota Motors has announced that they will be creating 400 new jobs at their plant in Princeton, Indiana. Toyota Motors revealed that their plan is to increase production of Highlander SUV, including hybrid variant, by the end of next year. In order to meet this increase in production capacity, Toyota Motors will be hiring 400 new employees at their plant in US.

In their Indiana plant, Toyota will be investing $400 million, which will increase the annual production of Highlander SUV by approximately 50,000 units. Toyota decided to invest in their Indiana plant, because they will not be producing Highlander SUV at their plant in Japan by end 2013, thanks to struggling Yen. So, in order to meet global demand, Highlander SUV production at Toyota Indiana plant is going to be increased.

Mr Steve St. Angelo, Executive VP, Toyota Motor Engg. & Manufacturing, N. America, said: “This project allows for better utilization of the Indiana plant and will help Toyota capitalize on the improving North American and global auto market. In addition to new jobs at the Indiana plant, this project will increase opportunities and jobs for our North American supply base.”

Toyota manufactures Highlander SUV in China as well, but the one’s produced in China, are for Chinese auto industry only. Apart from that, Highlander SUV’s are being exported to auto markets in Australia and Russia. From 2013 end, Toyota Indiana plant, will be exporting Highlander SUV’s to Russia and Australia.

Speaking about the new development, Mr Norm Baffunno, President, Toyota Indiana plant, said: “This project is part of our localization strategy to build vehicles where we sell them. This announcement is a vote of confidence from Toyota Motor Corporation in the abilities of our team members and this plant.” Currently, Toyota Indiana plant hires 4,800 people and build Highlander SUV, Sequoia SUV and Sienna minivan.

Toyota sold 101,252 units of Highlander in US in 2011, an increase by 10% compared to 2010 sales figures. On the other hand, sales of Highlander Hybrid SUV have been constantly on the decline in US since 2007. Last year Toyota sold just 4,549 units of Highlander hybrid in US, a decline by 35% compared to 2010 sales figures. This year, Toyota wants to increase their US sales by 15% to 1.9 million units (including Lexus and Scion brands) and their global sales by 21% to 9.58 million.

Press Relase

Toyota to Increase Highlander Output, Including Hybrid and Exports, in Indiana

Project will create about 400 new jobs

ERLANGER, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2012) – Toyota will increase production of the Highlander mid-size SUV in late 2013 at the company’s Princeton, Ind. plant. Hybrid and export versions will be included. The project is expected to create approximately 400 new jobs at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. (TMMI).

The company will invest about $400 million to support global demand for the Highlander, which will no longer be built in Japan by late 2013. Toyota builds Highlander in China for that market only. Annual Highlander production volume is expected to increase by approximately 50,000 units at TMMI.

Highlander is currently sold in Russia and Australia, and TMMI will export to those countries.

“This project allows for better utilization of the Indiana plant and will help Toyota capitalize on the improving North American and global auto market,” said Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. “In addition to new jobs at the Indiana plant, this project will increase opportunities and jobs for our North American supply base.”

“This project is part of our localization strategy to build vehicles where we sell them,” said TMMI President Norm Bafunno. “This announcement is a vote of confidence from Toyota Motor Corporation in the abilities of our team members and this plant.”

TMMI currently employs 4,800 and builds the Highlander, Sequoia full-size SUV and Sienna minivan.