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Toyota to move Highlander production to Indiana

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Toyota Motor Corp. will move more production of Highlander sport utility vehicles to an Indiana plant in August, the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

The company, which makes many of the vehicles at a plant in Kyushu in southwestern Japan for export to North America and Australia, will now build more than 2,000 vehicles a month in Indiana, the newspaper said. The Kyushu factory will retain its production of the gasoline-electric hybrid version of the Highlander as well as output of models for export to Australia, according to the sources.

Toyota began manufacturing the Highlander SUVs in November 2000 and has been making between 1,000 to 9,000 gasoline vehicles a month. In April, it produced about 1,900 units.

The newspaper did not specify which Indiana plant would receive the work. Toyota employs about 4,200 in the southwest Indiana city of Princeton, where workers already assemble Highlanders, as well as Sequoias and Siennas. Another 1,000 work at the Subaru Of Indiana facility in Lafayette, which makes the top-selling Camry.

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