PRINCETON, IN - Production of the Highlander sport utility vehicle, Toyota's 12th North American-built model, began Oct. 8 at the company's plant in Princeton, Ind. The $450 million investment is part of the adjustments Toyota began last year in order to better utilize manufacturing capacity, according to the automaker.
Production of the Tundra pickup, originally in Indiana, was consolidated last fall in the Tundra plant in Texas. Since then Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI), which also builds the Sienna and Sequoia, has been preparing for the Highlander.
The addition of Highlander boosts production at other Toyota plants such as West Virginia, where the 6-cylinder engine is made, and at nearly 250 of Toyota's North American suppliers.
In Indiana alone, Highlander parts and components including items such as steel, brake parts, and interior component assemblies will be provided by about 30 Tier 1 suppliers.
More than one million Highlanders have been sold in the U.S since 2000, according to Toyota. The Highlander is available in Base, Sport, and Limited grades in both two-wheel and full-time four-wheel-drive models. Features include: hill assist, Smart Key, flexible second row seating and a separate glass hatch.
Toyota currently produces 12 vehicles in North America, including the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sienna, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza, and the Lexus RX 350.
Originally posted on Work Truck Online