Automakers expanding in North America lately have been adding jobs and production locations in Mexico – because of the very favorable business climate. There are instances when they also increased their US presence.
The latest testament to that is Toyota’s announcement that it would move to recruit 300 more workers for its $100 million expansion of the Princeton, Indiana manufacturing facility. The move has been triggered by increased demand for the Highlander model being produced there. The Japanese automaker – the world’s largest – has so far invested at least $4 billion into its Indiana facilities, with the latest project scheduled for completion in the summer of 2016.
“The Highlander has been a great product for our plant,” said Toyota Indiana President Norm Bafunno. “Establishing Highlander as the ‘bridge vehicle,’ as we call it, between the East and West plants increases our ability to meet customer needs for our outstanding products. This exciting news is a true testament to the capability of our hard-working and dedicated team members.”
Sales of the third generation Highlander SUV have been very strong since its production started in the factory in December 2013, with the automaker delivering around 90,000 Highlanders during the first seven months of the year. The factory also produces for global exports the Sequoia full-size SUV and Sienna minivan.