Toyota Motor Corporation has announced plans for its eighth vehicle plant in North America.

The plant, on a 1,700-acre site in Blue Springs, Mississippi, will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, producing the Highlander SUV, starting in around 2010. The planned investment is $US1.3bn and around 2,000 new jobs will be created.

This development is expected to bring Toyota‘s North American annual production capacity to 2.17m vehicles. This includes the start of Camry sedan production at Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant (100,000 units annually) and expanded capacity for the Tacoma pickup truck at Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California in Mexico (increase of 20,000 units), both in 2007, plus the opening of the Woodstock plant of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Canada, for the RAV4 SUV in 2008 (150,000 units annually).

TMC president Katsuaki Watanabe said: “Our decision to establish a new plant in the United States is based on our long-standing policy of producing vehicles where demand is.”