Toyota shifting truck, SUV production between Indiana, Texas, Mexico

Toyota shifting truck, SUV production between Indiana, Texas, Mexico

Product manufacturing plan musical chairs needed to maximize output of SUVs, crossovers, pickups.

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Princeton, Indiana – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is shifting production of several vehicles by 2022 to maximize output of crossover and SUVs, thanks to a $1.3 billion upgrade to its Indiana SUV plant.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana will end Sequoia large SUV production in 2022 to focus entirely on Sienna minivans and traditional and hybrid versions of the Highlader Crossover. Sequoia production shifts to San Antonio, Texas, that year. To make room, production of the Tacoma small pickup will move to Toyota’s newest North American plant in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2021.

The automaker doesn’t expect the shifting production plans to reduce employment at any of the factories. It consolidates mechanically similar products in various plants – the body-on-frame Sequoia is a better fit for Texas where Toyota makes body-on-frame pickups, allowing the Indiana plant to focus entirely on unit-body crossovers and minivans.

Enabling the shifting is a near doubling of planned investments in Indiana. In 2017, when Toyota officials announced upgrade plans, the target for Princeton was $600 million and 400 jobs. Instead, Toyota put $1.3 billion into the plant, creating 550 jobs. The automaker is launching a redesigned Highlander this year and expects to need the extra capacity.

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.

“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 TMNA. “Our $1.3 billion investment at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) is further proof that our Hoosier workforce is rededicated to producing safer, high-quality vehicles our customers love to drive.”

Following the production shifts, production capacity at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) will remain at 208,000 units annually. The facility’s total investment tops $3 billion; employment is 3,200.