Toyota to invest $600m in Indiana SUV plant
Toyota said it will boost SUV production at an Indiana factory with a $600m investment, which could add 400 jobs.
The investment is part of the company’s strategy of localisation to build vehicles where they are sold.
It will be used to modernize the plant apart from retooling, installation of new equipment and advanced technologies.
The project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2019 and the improved plant is expected to produce about 40,000 Highlanders annually.
At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz announced that the company would “invest an additional $10bn in the US over the next five years. This investment will be used to make the existing plants even more competitive.”
The plant in Princeton, Indiana has produced more than 400,000 vehicles last year, which is claimed to be the highest in its 20 year history.
Toyota Indiana president Millie Marshall said: “The Highlander has been a great vehicle for our plant and we are excited to deliver even more of them to our loyal customers.
“This is a true testament to our team members and their dedication to producing quality vehicles.”
Recently, the newly elected US President Donald Trump had criticised Toyota on its plans to open a new facility in Mexico.
Trump has been criticising automakers including Ford, BMW, General Motors and now Toyota for investing in Latin American countries and importing the vehicles back to the US.
Few days back, Trump proposed to increase tax on products that were manufactured by shutting down facilities and laying off workers in the US, only to open new facilities elsewhere in the world shall receive a 35% tax or tariff.
In a meeting with the chief executives of automakers, the US President urged them to increase production in the country and to add more jobs in the process.
Trump noted that in return, he would cut taxes and regulations and make it more attractive for the auto industry to invest in the US.
Image: 2017 Toyota Highlander XLE. Photo: Courtesy Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.