Erlanger, Kentucky – Toyota has announced changes to the production mix at three of its North American operations in response to consumer demand, including the addition of the Prius. The Prius, which is scheduled to start production in late 2010 at a plant under construction in Blue Springs, Mississippi, will join the Kentucky-built Camry Hybrid as the second Toyota hybrid built in North America.
The Highlander midsize SUV, originally scheduled to be built in Mississippi, will now be manufactured in Princeton, Indiana, beginning in the fall of 2009, while production of the Tundra full-size pickup truck, currently built in Indiana and Texas, will be consolidated at the San Antonio, Texas plant in the spring of 2009. In addition, the company will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production, beginning August 8, 2008, due to the declining overall market for full-size trucks and SUVs. Production is scheduled to resume in early November.
“The truck market continues to worsen, so unfortunately we must temporarily suspend production,” said Jim Wiseman, vice-president, external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. “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. By using this downturn as an opportunity to develop team members and improve our operations, we hope to emerge even stronger.”