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Toyota Ready To Rival Kia EV9 With Billion-Dollar Investment

Key Takeaways

  • Toyota investing $1.4B in Indiana for new 3-row SUV, creating 340 jobs.
  • Toyota plans to introduce new SUV alongside existing models in Indiana.
  • Toyota focusing on hybrid and hydrogen tech, preparing for future EV innovations.

Toyota has announced it will be investing $1.4 billion over a number of years into its Princeton, Indiana facility to prepare for the creation of an all-new three-row electric SUV, which, by virtue of its US production, would be eligible for $7,500 in tax incentives, giving Toyota a fighting chance against the Kia EV9. The company, which has utilized this facility since 1999, is using this investment as a reaffirmation of a promise to reinvest its US profits, saying this will bring the total investment into Indiana alone to $8 billion. When completed, the company says this will create 340 long-term jobs in the area.

“Our team members are the heart of Toyota,” said Tim Hollander, president of Toyota Indiana. “We take great pride in producing quality products while providing long-term, stable employment no matter the changes in our industry. Our team is committed to delivering this new product with the same quality and performance that Toyota customers expect.”

Toyota

New Investment We Can All Get Behind

As it currently sits, the Indian facility is home to over 7,500 employees who help to produce models like the Grand Highlander, Highlander, Sienna, and the Lexus TX. We don’t know if the company plans to introduce this model alongside these others, or if it plans on dropping one in favor of the other. Our bet is with the latter as any finished product won’t debut for quite a few years, allowing models like the Highlander time to run their course. This leads us to an interesting point: Toyota insiders recently divulged to CarBuzz that the Highlander would go all-electric while the Grand Highlander would remain ICE-powered. So while the production processes would change, the product names associated with the plant wouldn’t.

Since 2021, Toyota has announced $18.6 billion in US investment that has included major projects like a $3 billion investment for LG to produce electric batteries at its plant in Michigan, along with a similar $1.3 investment in Kentucky that will also see the creation of a new three-row electric SUV in the next few years. By 2025, Toyota will open a 14th plant in North Carolina that will manufacture its own batteries for use in upcoming models like these.

Toyota Headquarters-Exterior-Entrance
Toyota

It’s All A Part Of Toyota’s Calculated Emissions Goals

Out of every automaker, Toyota has been the most scrupulous when deciding what paths to take as it plans to meet its future emissions goals. As countries implement stricter and stricter regulations, many companies have pledged ambitious electrification goals that will see most vehicles on sale in the next ten years fully electric, but Toyota isn’t sold.

Related

Toyota Criticizes EV Fanaticism, Says EVs Alone Will Not Stop Global Warming

The Toyota Chairman said alternatives such as hydrogen should be considered as well.

Toyota believes a multi-faceted approach to a carbon-neutral question is the best one, as there are many technologies, mainly hybrid and hydrogen, out there that have proven viable and useful in ways fully electric vehicles aren’t yet. This has meant the company has fallen behind the pack when it comes to the creation of electric vehicles, but behind the scenes, it’s working diligently to create the technology necessary to build more compelling products toward the end of the decade.

We’re currently experiencing a cooling of the EV market as the market has been flooded with expensive electric vehicles lacking compelling performance, forcing automakers to pivot. In that time, Toyota has leaned heavily on hybrid offerings and has been rewarded for it. With these new investments, the company is poised to be able to take advantage of solid-state battery technology that will revolutionize the electric car over the next few years without having to offer something mediocre in the meantime. Sounds like a shrewd business plan if you ask us.

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