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Toyota shifts US production plans, invests $700M more in Ind. plant

Toyota Motor Corp.'s North American division is moving production and assembly of certain models to different plants as it ups investment in its Indiana facility by $700 million, the automaker announced Jan. 17.

The automaker's manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana, will end production of the Toyota Sequoia SUV by 2022 as it focuses on producing midsize SUVs and minivans, including the Highlander and its hybrid version, plus the Sienna minivan, Toyota said in a statement.

Toyota's plant in San Antonio will take over assembly of the Sequoia in 2022 as the facility focuses on producing full-size body-on-frame pickup trucks and SUVs. Assembly of the Tundra pickup will remain at the San Antonio plant, but production of the Tacoma pickup will end by late 2021. The automaker's manufacturing plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, began assembling Tacoma pickups in December 2019. Toyota's plant in Baja California, Mexico, has been assembling Tacomas since 2004.

Toyota said these changes will improve operational speed and competitiveness.

The automaker also said it added $700 million and 150 jobs to its investment in the Indiana plant, bringing the total investment there to $1.3 billion and 550 jobs since 2017.

The Indiana investment, which was part of the automaker's plant modernization project announced in January 2017, was used for retooling plus installing new equipment and advanced manufacturing technologies to meet demand for the 2020 Toyota Highlander SUV.

The investment is part of Toyota's broader $13 billion commitment to U.S. manufacturing through 2021, of which approximately $7.1 billion has already been invested, Toyota said.

"Part of Toyota's tremendous success in North America is building vehicles where we sell them," Christopher Reynolds, Toyota Motor North America's chief administration officer of manufacturing and corporate resources, said in the release.

Toyota Motor North America also announced it would fund $1 million for a regional 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, president of Toyota's Indiana plant.