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Toyota Launches 2011 Sienna Production

Taking aim at Chrysler, Honda with all-new minivan.

by on Jan.20, 2010

With the launch of U.S. production, the 2011 Toyota Sienna is taking aim at the minivan's segment leaders, Chrysler and Hona.

Production of the all-new 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan has begun at the automaker’s assembly plant, in Princeton, Indiana.  Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, last November, and garnering strongly favorable reviews since then, the new minivan is taking aim at the people mover segment’s two top performers, Honda and Chrysler.

Hoping to gain a better grip on the American market, Sienna was styled at Toyota’s Calty Design Research Center in Newport Beach, Calif., with engineering duties handed over to the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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Production of the new Sienna — as well as that of the Highlander SUV, which began last October – comes as welcome news for the Indiana plant, which has been underutilized during the current economic downturn.


Toyota Launches Highlander Production in Indiana

Compact sport utility is its 12th North American-built model.

by on Oct.13, 2009


Production of the Tundra pickup, originally in Indiana, was consolidated last fall in Texas.

Production of the Toyota Highlander compact sport utility vehicle began this month at the company’s plant in Princeton, Indiana. The $450 million investment is part of the sweeping readjustments loss-making Toyota began last year in order to rationalize its manufacturing capacity in North America.

The abrupt change in direction came after the collapse of the full-size SUV and pickup truck markets left its aggressive business plan in tatters.

Toyota had bet — and ultimately lost — billions of dollars on a gamble that American truck buyers who favor Ford, General Motors and Dodge offerings, would defect to a Japanese product. That bet came just as record fuel prices eliminated trucks as and automotive fashion accessory for casual buyers.

Production of the Tundra pickup, originally in Indiana, was consolidated last fall in the brand new Tundra plant in San Antonio, Texas, which was originally developed with a planned capacity of 500,000 units annually.

The Tundra recorded September sales of only 6,308 units.