Princeton —Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. (TMMI) announced plans Wednesday to expand its operations here, creating approximately 400 new jobs by 2013.
The company will invest $400 million total with $131 million going directly to its Princeton plant to consolidate its Highlander mid-size SUV production to this location, including both hybrid and export versions. Production is expected to begin in late-2013 with annual Highlander production volume expected to increase by approximately 50,000 units at TMMI.
"The Hoosier State has made great strides towards providing the best possible business climate in the nation and having a multi-national company like Toyota consolidate operations to Indiana and produce one of our state's first hybrid vehicles is evidence to the success we've achieved," said Governor Mitch Daniels.
Established in Gibson County in 1996, Toyota's Princeton plant was the second recognized wholly-owned Toyota plant in North America. TMMI currently employs 4,800 associates, of which 4,000 are Hoosiers, and builds the Highlander, Sequoia full-size SUV and Sienna minivan at its Princeton facility. The hiring of new manufacturing associates will coincide with facility and machinery upgrades.
"This project allows for better utilization of the Indiana plant, and will help Toyota capitalize on the improving North American and global auto market," said Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. "In addition to new jobs at the Indiana plant, this project will increase opportunities and jobs for our North American supply base."
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. up to $2.7 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Gibson County will consider additional incentives at the request of the Gibson County Economic Development Corporation.
"Toyota has been an integral part of the Princeton community, not only with the employment of our residents but also with the infusion of millions of dollars into the local community," said Princeton Mayor Robert Hurst. "The company's charitable donations have also been significant with more than $13 million given to local charities and schools and for that we are very grateful."