Toyota Indiana has spent an extra $700 million and plans to fill 150 more jobs than expected to cap off a three-year plant modernization project in southwest Indiana that it announced in 2017, the company announced Friday.
The Princeton plant transformation project will create a total of 550 jobs and represents a total investment of $1.3 billion, the company said.
Toyota announced in January 2017 that it planned to spend $600 million to improve the plant and add 400 jobs by the end of 2019.
The company overhauled the plant with new equipment and advanced manufacturing technologies so it could begin producing the 2020 Toyota Highlander. The plant now has the capacity to assemble more than 420,000 vehicles annually.
Toyota said it has invested about $5 billion in the Princeton plant, which it opened in 1996. Total employment at the facility now exceeds 7,000.
The company said the Indiana project is part of a broader commitment to invest $13 billion in U.S. operations over a five-year period through 2021. The goal is to “improve the operational speed, competitiveness and transformation at its North American vehicle assembly plants,” it said.
In Indiana, Toyota plans to focus on production of mid-size SUVs and minivans, including the Toyota Highlander, Highlander Hybrid and the Toyota Sienna. It plans to cease production of the Toyota Sequoia by 2022.
Other Toyota plant improvements are taking place in San Antonio, Texas, and Guanajuanto, Mexico.
Officials also said Toyota Indiana was committing $1 million to a new, regional workforce program to connect students with career opportunities in advanced manufacturing while still in high school.
“This program will allow students to get a jump start on their careers while receiving hands-on training with industry experts and educators,” Leah Curry, Toyota Indiana plant president, said in written comments.
“By collaborating with our local schools, we are creating a workforce solution—but, more importantly—providing greater visibility to student career options and pathways in the region.”
Toyota has 14 manufacturing plants in North America and 10 in the United States where it employs 47,000 people. It sold 2.4 million cars in the U.S. in 2019.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has pledged $6 million in conditional tax credits to Toyota Indiana based on its plans to create up to 550 jobs in Princeton. The credits can only be claimed after jobs are filled.