Toyota to expand plant, hire 300 to build more Highlanders

Toyota announced on Friday that it will increase its Gibson County plant by 70,000 square feet and hire 300 additional workers to increase Highlander production.

More than 4,500 people currently work at Toyota’s Princeton plant, which produces Highlander and Sequoia sport utility vehicles and Sienna minivans.

The Highlander has driven growth at the plant in recent years.

In 2012, Toyota announced its plans to increase Highlander production by 50,000 vehicles a year, upping its annual production of that line to 180,000 a year. The news meant Toyota would begin producing hybrid Highlanders in addition to traditional versions of the vehicle; and export versions for the Australia and Russia markets.

Including both Toyota and its suppliers, the expansion represented $430 million in investment.

The company has added more than 600 additional team members since then.

In December the plant held employee celebrations to honor the start of production of the updated 2014 Highlander and its hybrid and export versions.

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