ERLANGER, KY --- Toyota is responding to heightened demand for fuel efficiency by adjusting the production mix at three plants. The changes include the addition of the Prius hybrid sedan to its North American lineup.
The changes are as follows:
-- Prius will be built at a plant under construction in Blue Springs, Miss. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Prius, which will join the Kentucky-built Camry Hybrid as the second Toyota hybrid built in North America, enables Toyota to better respond to increased consumer demand for hybrid vehicles.
-- The Highlander mid-size SUV, originally scheduled to be built in Mississippi, will now be manufactured in Princeton, Ind., beginning in Fall 2009.
-- Production of the Tundra full-size pick-up truck, currently built in Indiana and Texas, will be consolidated at the San Antonio plant in Spring 2009. In addition, Toyota will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production beginning Aug. 8 due to the declining overall market for full-size trucks and SUVs. Production is scheduled to resume in early November. Team members at both facilities, as well as the Huntsville, Ala., plant that builds Tundra and Sequoia engines, will continue to be provided work.
"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 (TEMA).
Toyota established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 13 manufacturing plants. In addition, new plants are under construction in Ontario and Mississippi.