In March 2006, Toyota confirmed that it would begin manufacturing automobiles in Lafayette, Indiana. The vehicles will be produced at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) plant, where Subaru vehicles have been rolling off the assembly line for over 16 years.
Both SIA and Toyota issued production forecasts for 2007. Subaru expects to produce about 125,000 vehicles. Toyota plans to add about 100,000 to this number. About $230 million will be invested to install Toyota’s Camry manufacturing processes in an existing SIA line.
Over 2,000 are already employed at the site. Another 1,000 jobs will be created to accommodate Toyota’s operations. “This is just what our local and state economy needs. What a shot in the arm,” said Gary Henriott, chairman of the board of the Lafayette –West Lafayette Economic Development Corporation (LWL-EDC). Henriott also indicated that for every job created at SIA, at least another four or five jobs would be created elsewhere in the community or state.
“The potential economic payback is enormous, affecting every sector of our economy from jobs to housing to retail, service and our quality of life,” said Cinda Kelly, executive director of the LWL-EDC, which assembled the incentive package and worked closely with the automotive companies. “These are the jobs we want. This is an investment we want. And we put our heads together to make the best local offer possible.”
To attract the investment, city, county and state officials assembled an incentive package totaling approximately $23.5 million. The package included tax breaks, workforce training funds, and an infrastructure grant. The governor and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, along with state representatives, even came together to support the project by passing the Indiana Single Sales Factor legislation. This legislation was important to Toyota because it recognized that most corporations do business in many states. The legislation, which includes the Indiana Single Sales Factor provision, promises future benefits to many of Toyota’s tiered suppliers, which have investments in Indiana and outside the state.