Toyota announced it will add 400 jobs at its plant in Princeton, Indiana and invest $600 million to meet the demand for its Highlander midsize SUV and modernize the facility. Renovations will begin in the fall of 2019 and will allow Toyota to produce 40,000 more Highlanders a year. This is part of a larger modernization plan announced earlier this month totaling $10 billion over the next five years.
Also, Toyota is recalling about 73,000 model year 2016 and 2017 Tundra pickup trucks with resin rear step bumpers. It said in the event of an impact to the corner of the bumper, a resin bracket may break and pose a threat of injury if someone steps on the bumper it might collapse. Dealers will install new brackets made of steel at no cost to customers. If you have one of the affected trucks, look for a notice in the mail.
Slow demand for the Passat has VW adding three more shutdown days to the already announced eight day production halt at a big plant in Emden, Germany. A spokesman told Automotive News that further shutdowns may be announced until Easter.
BMW said the 2018 4-Series, coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe will be available starting in March. Pricing will be announced closer to vehicle launch. The coupe and Gran Coupe received a stiffer suspension with “advanced damping technology and an upgraded steering set-up.” Some minor styling changes will be made front and rear.
Nissan and BMW have joined with EVgo, a fast charging network, to add 174 more electric vehicle charging stations in 33 states. They said 50 more are planned this year. The stations are designed to support Nissan LEAF and BMW i3 customers. EVgo said it is the nation’s largest DC Fast charging operator with a total of 670 stations across the country.
For those who like to plan ahead, backers of the big auto show in Detroit have announced their 2018 show dates. The North American International Auto show, (its official name), will host press days Jan. 14-18 next year with the show opening to the public on Jan. 20 and running through the 28th.
A stock Dodge Viper has set a new record for the fastest lap at the Carolina Motorsports Park. The production car lap record is now 1:37:040. Production of the Dodge Viper has just a few short months remaining before they lock the doors on the assembly plant on Connor Ave in Detroit.