Just maybe, news such as this will quiet people down who became very upset when Toyota began competing in NASCAR however many years ago and have been complaining about it ever since. Some people have difficulty accepting that Toyota is firmly a part of the American automotive landscape. The process that really got underway about 1966, when the Corona sedan became Toyota’s first broadly accepted vehicle in North America, has continued ever since as it expanded its model offerings and market share. Today, Toyota is the operator of nine U.S. assembly plants, which will become 10 next year when the SUV assembly facility it’s jointly building with Mazda opens outside Huntsville, Alabama. While that development still awaits, Toyota has newly earmarked $803 million to upgrade its plant in Princeton, Indiana, in time for the factory’s 25th anniversary.
Honestly, did you even know there is such a thing as Toyota Indiana? Located in southwestern Indiana, near Evansville, Toyota Indiana opened in 1998 to build the Tundra pickup, and today produces the hybrid version of the Sienna, the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid SUVs, and the larger, pickup-based Sequoia SUV. The new investment will help tool the plant to produced two yet-to-be-announced three-row SUVs, one of which will be badged as a Lexus. The existing Princeton workforce of around 7,000 will expand by about 1,400 when the new SUVs, which will at least be hybrids, go into production. So there. Toyota is an American automaker. If you need still more evidence, consider that Toyota build the Corolla, the biggest-selling car in automotive history, in Blue Spring, Mississippi.