Toyota to add 400 jobs, sink $600M into Indiana SUV factory

Toyota said Tuesday it will add 400 jobs and invest $600 million at its Southern Indiana SUV factory by the end of 2019.

The announcement Tuesday comes just after President Donald Trump met with CEOs of the Detroit automakers to demand that new factories be built in the U.S. Toyota says the investment was planned before the election, and not related to Trump.

The jobs will be added in Princeton, where Toyota makes the Highlander SUV. The $600 million investment will be used to meet the production demand for Highlanders and to retool and modernize Toyota's 4 million-square-foot plant.

Highlander sales in the U.S. were up more than 20 percent last year to just over 191,000. The factory will be able to build 40,000 more Highlanders per year when the expansion is finished in the fall of 2019.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana employs more than 5,000 workers in Gibson County and supports approximately 80 suppliers across Indiana. The company plans to begin hiring for the new positions in late 2018.

Princeton is roughly 140 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has pledged training grants from its Skills Enhancement Fund to reimburse up to 50 percent of the company’s eligible workforce training costs over a two-year period. An IEDC spokeswomen said she could not provide an estimate of the training grants, as the incentive agreement with Toyota was still being finalized.

Toyota says it will invest $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years.

This story will be updated.

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