Toyota (NYSE:TM) Answers President Trump by Adding 400 Indiana Jobs
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Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) said it would add 400 jobs to build more SUVs at one of its US plants, highlighting its expansion plans just as US President Donald Trump calls on manufacturers to build more cars in the country.
The Japanese automaker said the jobs were part of a $600-M upgrade of its plant in Princeton, Indiana, and were included in its plans announced earlier this month to invest $10-B in its U.S. operations over the next 5 years.
The President criticized automakers including Toyota for producing cars in neighboring Mexico for export to the United States and on Tuesday will have breakfast with the chief executives of General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Co.(NYSE:F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) to discuss boosting US employment.
Toyota last year produced around 1.4-M vehicles in the United States, its largest market. It operates 10 factories in the country, including the plant in Indiana which new Vice President Mike Pence visited while he was state governor.
Earlier this month, Trump in a tweet said Toyota could be subject to a “big border tax” if it went ahead with plans to build the Mexico plant, which the automaker announced in 2015.
Toyota has said its mid-term investment plans are not a response to Trump’s remarks.
Like many automakers, Toyota has been ramping up production of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in the United States as low fuel prices spur demand for larger cars.
It said the Indiana investment would increase production of its Highlander SUVs by an annual 40,000 vehicles from 2-H of Y 2019, or around 17% from Y 2016 marks. The new jobs would add to the plant’s existing production line, which operates 2 shifts.
Of the 10 US Toyota plants, 5 assemble vehicles, and the Indiana plant is the 2nd-largest of the assembly sites. It currently employs 5,100 people and last year produced around 402,000 vehicles.
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