Toyota is realigning its North American production based on platforms and common architectures, and committing another $700 million US to its Indiana facility, bringing total investment at the plant to $1.3 billion over the past three years.
“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. “Our $1.3 billion investment at TMMI (Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana) is further proof that our Hoosier workforce is rededicated to producing safer, high-quality vehicles our customers love to drive.”
The investment has gone into retooling, and adding new equipment and advanced manufacturing technologies as toe company tries to meet strong demand for the 2020 Toyota Highlander, giving the plant the capacity to pump out 420,000 vehicles annually. In addition to the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, TMMI also produces the Sienna minivan and Sequoia large utility.
To realign its North American operations by platforms and common architectures, Toyota is planning a series of moves for its North American facilities, including removing Sequoia from Princeton, Indiana by 2022. It will move Sequoia production to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio alongside the large Tundra pickup, with which Sequoia shares a platform.
That move will displace the mid-size Tacoma pickup, which will move production fully to Mexico at Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT), both of which already build the pickups.
The latest announcement also commits to hiring 150 new people, bringing the total of new hires up to 550 over the same period, and $1 million a new regional workforce program to connect high-school students with career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
“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.”