Toyota to Spend $500M on Indiana Revamp
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“This is really our only investment this year, since Mississippi is idled,” Mike Gross, spokesman for Toyota’s North American manufacturing unit in Erlanger, Kentucky told Bloomberg.
The Princeton facility will build Toyota's Highlander SUV, a model which fell no less than 41 percent in the first half of the year in the US, Bloomberg reported. Their investment in the facility is twice as big as the one for the Camry sedan assembly line and almost as much as Honda spent to build an entirely new facility in Indiana.
According to Gross, the investment is to be used for the “retooling of the West Plant to build Highlander and Sequoia on the same line, as well as supplier tooling for Highlander.”
Initially, Toyota planned to build the Highlander in Blue Springs, Mississippi, at a $1.3 billion plant. The rise in demand for the Prius and the forecasted success of the new generation of the hybrid has made Toyota decide to use this facility for the Prius.
As for the NUMMI joint venture, it is yet unclear how Toyota will act. Recent reports said that the Japanese will not give up on the plant. "We have relations with the regional community so there will be no closure," an unnamed executive was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.
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