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Toyota boosting SUV production in Indiana

Keywords: Tags  Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana plant, assembly plant, capacity expansion, Highlander, SUV, Norm Buffano, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO – Toyota Motor Corp. plans to invest $30 million in its Princeton, Ind., facility to increase production of its Highlander sports utility vehicle by 15,000 units in late 2014.

This expansion is expected to add 200 jobs and raise head count to 4,700. The facility’s annual capacity will increase to 365,000 units, according to the automaker.

"This capacity increase is (designed) to meet growing demand for the Highlander and is a part of our strategy to build vehicles where we sell them," Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana president Norm Bafunno said in a statement.

Toyota’s Indiana plant builds a gas version of the Highlander and will begin producing the hybrid version before year-end. The new production volume added will be the gas model. Toyota expects to begin exporting Indiana-built Highlanders to Russia and Australia later this year.

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