All Charged Up

Toyota Indiana’s $1.4 billion project will add a battery-electric SUV

Toyota Indiana is adding yet another vehicle to its production line — a three-row battery-electric SUV manufactured by 340 new hires at the Princeton facility.

It’s a $1.4 billion project, bringing the total investment in Toyota Indiana over its 26 years to $8 billion. Once on the job, the additional team members will take Toyota Indiana’s workforce to about 8,000.

The first vehicles are expected to be produced at Toyota Indiana’s 4.5 million-square-foot Gibson County plant in 2026.

“It’s 8,000 great-paying, high-security jobs which is great for our community,” Tim Hollander, president of Toyota Indiana, said during a media call April 25.

According to Toyota, the battery-electric vehicle made in Southwestern Indiana will use lithium-ion batteries supplied by Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina, a $13.9 billion facility scheduled to be up and running in 2025.

The new SUV, which Hollander says is a Toyota vehicle, will join the plant’s current lineup of the Toyota Sienna, Highlander, and Grand Highlander, as well as the Lexus TX.

State support has been key to Toyota Indiana’s success over the years, Hollander says, and a news release about the latest expansion quotes Gov. Eric Holcomb as saying Indiana’s culture makes such announcements possible.

“Indiana and Toyota share a nearly 30-year partnership that has cultivated job stability and economic opportunity in Princeton and the surrounding southwest Indiana region for decades,” Holcomb says in the release. “Today’s incredible announcement shows yet again just how important our state’s business-friendly environment, focus on long-term success, and access to a skilled workforce is to companies seeking to expand and be profitable far into the future.”

Toyota says that since 2021, the company has announced $18.6 billion in new investments in its efforts manufacturing vehicles that use electrification.

Hollander says adding a battery-electric SUV “is going to diversify our product mix and capability at this plant,” and “solidify our future for the long term.”

Toyota Indiana’s latest expansion is another reminder of the Evansville region’s strength as a manufacturing hub. As reported in the October/November 2023 Evansville Business cover story, one in every five jobs in the region is in manufacturing, and the sector makes up 41 percent of the region’s total economic activity, versus 8 percent nationally.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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