PRINCETON, Ind. - Toyota announced Wednesday they are investing $803 million at their Princeton, Indiana plant and adding 1,400 new jobs to manufacture two new SUVs.
The Japanese automaker called the new vehicles "electrified" in a press release, but did not specify if they are all-electric or hybrids.
The company says the vehicles, both SUVs with three rows of seats, will have a "semi-automated driving system—which will allow for hands-free driving in certain conditions." In addition, smartphone technology will allow the driver to park and unpark from outside the vehicle and use their phone as a key, according to the company.
One of the new vehicles will be made under the Lexus brand and be the first Lexus vehicle made at the Princeton plant.
The Toyota plant in Indiana already has about 7,000 employees. A detailed timeline was not given for the new hires and when the new vehicles could begin being manufactured.
While other automakers have had to slow down or shut down production lines because of a global semiconductor shortage, Toyota hasn't been as affected as others. Ten years ago, after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant, supply chains were disrupted for various goods.
Toyota created a business continuity plan after that disaster that asked suppliers to stockpile items for a two-to-six-month supply, according to Reuters.
That appears to be why the automaker has been able to keep up production while others, in particular Ford and GM, have had to idle plants.