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Toyota invests $170 million, adds 400 jobs to Mississippi plant

by Ben Hsu

Corolla production moves to Mississippi from Canada.

Even as sales of sedans are falling against the almighty crossover, Toyota is investing $170 million into its Blue Springs, Mississippi plant to expand production of the Corolla.

On Thursday, Toyota said the investment would also add 400 jobs to its current count of 2,000. The $170 million would put Toyota's total contribution to Mississippi's economy to over $1 billion since the plant was established ten years ago. Earlier this month, Toyota announced a $10 million visitor an interactive training center that will offer public tours at the site of its Mississippi manufacturing base as well.

The expenditure will replace entirely Toyota's current assembly lines and set up the factory for its TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) modular platform that will underpin the 2020 Corolla. The platform is currently used as the bones of the Prius, C-HR, Auris, and Lexus UX.

The Corolla is currently built in Toyota's Cambridge, Ontario plant, but by shifting production to Mississippi Toyota intends to free up capacity for increased RAV4 production in Canada.

"Toyota's commitment to building a sense of community is illustrated by the company's continued investment in its operations and philanthropic efforts throughout the region," said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. "This latest investment and addition of hundreds of new jobs reinforces Toyota's dedication to excellence in Blue Springs for generations to come."