Published on May 1st, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Toyota Has 2 New Electrified Three-Row SUVs In The Pipeline
Demands for electrified SUVs are on the rise and Toyota aims to capitalise on that
Toyota is set to further grow its already vast model lineup in North America with the addition of two all-new, three-row SUVs.
While details about the upcoming vehicles are scarce at this time of writing, Toyota has confirmed one will bear the Toyota name while the other will wear a Lexus badge. Both will be “designed with the active Gen Y American Family in mind”.
These SUVs will be manufactured at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) plant, and for that purpose the automaker has announced that it will invest $803 million and add 1,400 new jobs.
On the technical front, both SUVs will be part of Toyota’s electrified portfolio, which could mean they will be a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV), a plug-in hybrid or a conventional hybrid. Either way, it will help Toyota achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Toyota also revealed that the SUVs will come with a semi-automated driving system that allows for hands-free driving in certain conditions, a remote parking system which the driver can use to park and unpark from outside the vehicle via smartphone, and a digital key.
With its 25th anniversary right around the corner, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) is poised to celebrate with gusto as it announces an investment sure to drive the team through the next 25 years and beyond.
Today, Toyota announced an $803 million investment and 1,400 new jobs at the Princeton, Ind., auto-manufacturing plant in preparation to introduce two all-new, three-row SUVs designed with the active Gen Y American Family in mind. What’s more, only one will bear the Toyota name. The other will officially introduce the Lexus line to Toyota Indiana.
But, clout and luxury isn’t all the investment will bring. While these new vehicles will be announced at a later date, both will join a diverse, electrified product portfolio and will help the company get another step closer to Toyota’s global aim towards carbon neutrality by 2050—all this while furthering its mission of mobility and happiness for all.
Speaking of happy, these new additions will have customers bursting at the seams when they get a glimpse of the cutting-edge technology featured in both vehicles. When on sale, customers can expect a semi-automated driving system—which will allow for hands-free driving in certain conditions—a remote parking system allowing the driver to park and unpark from outside the vehicle using a smartphone, and a digital key that turns a user’s smartphone into their key and allows them to share it digitally. Both the Lexus and Toyota versions will offer seating for up to eight passengers.
And, the Princeton automaker aims to achieve this goal with not only the type of vehicles produced but the production process itself. Toyota Indiana’s environmental team has created thousands of metric tons in CO2 savings for the plant and invested over $4 million on CO2 reduction projects with another $2.7 million committed for the coming year. All of this ladders up to the products Toyota produces.
“Over the past 20 years, Toyota has led the way with more electrified vehicles on the road than all automakers combined,” said Ted Ogawa, president and CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “This investment and new vehicle line-up will allow us to continue our work with electrification, expand our portfolio to around 70 models globally by 2025, and meet the needs of our customers while we accelerate towards carbon neutrality.”
And, the team is well-positioned to take on this challenge. With more than 7,000 employees already, the investment will add another 1,400 and cement its ability to take on two new vehicles.
“Selecting Toyota Indiana for this opportunity shows the confidence Toyota has in our employees to take on new and exciting challenges,” said Leah Curry, TMMI president. “Expanding our Toyota family by 1,400 is a challenge we are eager to accept. This is a testament to the strong workforce in the Southwest Indiana region. We’re waiting with open arms to welcome new people and products to the family and can’t wait to get started.”
The $803 million investment will be used to prepare the manufacturing line for the new vehicles, production-employee training, as well as provide supplier re-tooling at their facilities. Since the first Tundra—the original TMMI vehicle—rolled off the production line in 1998, Toyota’s total investment in the Princeton site is $6.6 billion. TMMI currently assembles the all-hybrid Sienna minivan, Highlander/Highlander Hybrid SUV and Sequoia full-size SUV, and has the capacity to assemble more than 420,000 vehicles annually.
“Toyota has been an incredible partner to the state of Indiana for nearly 25 years, and we’re thrilled to continue that partnership in order to drive our economy forward,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “Indiana is proud to be home to the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation, while providing a skilled workforce that is contributing to the success of companies across a variety of industries. I can’t thank Toyota enough for the role they play in the strength of our manufacturing sector.”