Production of the Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle, the company's twelfth North American-built model, began today at the company's plant in Princeton, Ind. The $450 million investment is part of the adjustments Toyota began last year to better use its manufacturing capacity.
Production of the Tundra pickup, originally in Indiana, was consolidated last fall in the Tundra plant in Texas. Since then, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, which also builds the Sienna and Sequoia, has been preparing to build the Highlander.
TMMI reacted to several months of slow production by retaining all of its 4,200-team members, who were further trained and improved manufacturing processes.
Since it was introduced in 2001, more than 1 million Highlanders have been sold in the U.S. The Highlander is available in Base, Sport, and Limited grades in both two-wheel and full-time four-wheel-drive models. Its features include: hill assist, Smart Key, flexible second row seating, and a separate glass hatch.