Officials fromMotor Mfg. North America Inc. and Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant confirm Toyota's plan to build its Camry sedan at the SIA facility in Lafayette, IN.
The deal, in the works since last October, whenannounced it was taking an 8.7% stake in after Corp. sold its shares in the Japanese auto maker, will bring 100,000 units of Camry to SIA, as well as 1,000 additional jobs.
Toyota will invest $230 million at SIA and launch production in spring 2007.
SIA officials say it is likely only 30,000-40,000 Camrys will be built at SIA next year as production ramps up. Plant officials expect to reach the stated staffing levels in two to three years.
SIA production means Toyota will eliminate Camry shipments to the U.S. from its Tsutsumi, Japan, plant.
Gary Convis, president-Toyota Motor Mfg. Kentucky, says it does not mean capacity will be freed up at Toyota's Georgetown, KY, assembly plant, up to now the only North American Camry location.
Dennis Cuneo, senior vice president-external affairs and public policy for Toyota Motor North America Inc., says the plan to build Camrys at SIA, “made a lot of sense” based on the fact the auto maker is capacity constrained in North America. In addition, SIA, which is operating at half capacity, has experience building vehicles for other auto makers (Motor Co. Ltd. and Motors Ltd.), he points out.
Most of Camry's suppliers are in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, Cuneo adds, and the SIA facility in Lafayette is within a 3-hour drive from Toyota's Georgetown plant.
Toyota already produces vehicles in Indiana at a plant in Princeton. The auto maker will rely on the expertise of that facility's staff to get the Camry line moving at SIA.