The production changes will allow Toyota the ability to reduce its output of trucks and SUVs in favor of more fuel efficient vehicles like the Prius. A new plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi is being constructed to build the Prius. The plant was originally conceived for Highlander production. Beginning in the fall of 2009 Highlander production will move to Princeton, Indiana one of the plants that currently builds the Tundra pickup. Tundra production will stop in Princeton in Spring 2009, which means that San Antonio, Texas will be the only plant producing the Tundra.
In addition to the changes Toyota is going to temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production from August 8 – early November due to declining sales.
Toyota to build Prius in U.S.
Highlander to Indiana; all Tundra to Texas
July 10, 2008 – Erlanger, KY – Toyota is responding to changes in consumer demand and improving the production efficiency and stability of its North American operations by adjusting production mix at three plants. The changes include the addition of the Prius hybrid sedan to its North American lineup.
The changes are as follows:
– Prius will be built at a plant under construction in Blue Springs, Miss. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Prius, which will join the Kentucky-built Camry Hybrid as the second Toyota hybrid built in North America, enables Toyota to better respond to increased consumer demand for hybrid vehicles.
– The Highlander mid-size SUV, originally scheduled to be built in Mississippi, will now be manufactured in Princeton, Ind., beginning in Fall 2009.
– Production of the Tundra full-size pick-up truck, currently built in Indiana and Texas, will be consolidated at the San Antonio plant in Spring 2009.
In addition, Toyota will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production beginning August 8 due to the declining overall market for full size trucks and SUVs. Production is scheduled to resume in early November. Team members at both facilities, as well as the Huntsville, Ala. plant that builds Tundra and Sequoia engines, will continue to be provided work.
“The truck market continues to worsen, so unfortunately we must temporarily suspend production. But this good news about production mix demonstrates our long-term commitment to our North American operations and to our team members, supplier partners, and communities where our plants are located,” said Jim Wiseman, vice president/external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). “By using this downturn as an opportunity to develop team members and improve our operations, we hope to emerge even stronger.”