Toyota announced today at the Chicago Auto Show that US assembled 2014 Toyota Highlander SUVs have started to be exported to Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
“We are proud that the US built Highlander has garnered so much interest not only here, but abroad,” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s Senior Vice President. Carter made the announcement at the Chicago Auto Show during the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s annual breakfast. “We look forward to other opportunities to continue expanding exports from our U.S. operations.”
2014 Toyota Highlander exports are expected to reach 29,000 vehicles this year according to Toyota. The SUVs are assembled at Toyota’s facilities in the Midwest at their Princeton, Indiana vehicle operations. The Toyota plant has roughly 4,500 people working there currently and Toyota stated they will be adding 200 jobs by the end of 2014 to meet increased demand for 2014 Toyota Highlanders and other Toyota vehicles built at the plant. The Indiana Toyota plant also builds the Sequoia full-size SUVs and the Sienna minivan. The Indiana Toyota operations represents represents a $4.2 billion investment for the automaker.
Toyota started exporting US built vehicles back in 1988. (That was before most people knew what the internet was.) Toyota currently exports US built vehicles to 32 countries around the globe. In 2014 about 130,00 vehicles were exported to other countries from America, a 5% increase from 2012 and an all-time high for Toyota.
2014 Toyota Highlander exports began last year in December. Vehicle exports to Eastern Europe are leaving from Brunswick, GA while Highlander shipments to New Zealand and Australia are being shipped from Baltimore, MD at the Port of Baltimore.
So next time you are in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine or Kazakhstan and see a 2014 Toyota Highlander remember to say loudly and point out to everyone around you, “That Toyota was made in America!”