Many of Indiana’s automakers have their feet pressed firmly on the gas right now in terms of business growth. Expansion efforts are in high gear all throughout our state. New vehicles are going to join our manufacturing portfolio soon, as well as enhanced partnerships, facility expansions, big investments, and hundreds of new jobs.
The last few months have definitely been an interesting time for our automotive sector. Four-wheeled announcements have been coming fast, so we’ve gathered a rundown of some of the biggest recent developments and exciting new opportunities for Hoosier business.
GM Investing $632M in Fort Wayne
General Motors announced plans to invest $632 million in its Fort Wayne Assembly operations to support the production of the next-generation internal combustion engine, full-size trucks. The investment will support new conveyors, tooling, and equipment in the plant’s body and general assembly areas. This added capacity will support the 3,983 employees employed at the Fort Wayne facility.
The Fort Wayne Assembly builds the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. The company said their investment plans highlight their continued goal to provide customers with a strong portfolio of internal combustion vehicles for years to come.
GM has announced nearly $2 billion in investments for the Fort Wayne Assembly plant and more than $2.8 billion in other Indiana manufacturing operations since 2013. As such, the state plans to support the expansion plans with an incentive package potentially worth up to $11.2 million conditional grants and structured performance payments.
Expansion After $8.7B Contract for Military Vehicles
After securing a massive contract that could be valued at up to $8.7 billion from the U.S. Army earlier this year, South Bend-based AM General announced plans to expand its Indiana operations and add hundreds of new jobs. The company is going to be producing an estimated 20,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) for the Army and an additional 10,000 trailers. Thus far, the company has received $230 million to start production across a five-year contract.
The Army explained that JLTVs offer U.S. troops “significantly more protection against multiple threats while increasing mobility and payload compared to the current armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle platforms.”
As a result of the production contract, AM General plans to grow its South Bend operations. Discussions held earlier this year with local officials peg the expansion at about $8.8 million to add 74,000 square feet to AM General’s plant, plus an additional $59.5 million for new equipment. Up to 329 jobs may be added.
First Indiana-Made Lexus is On the Way
This summer, Toyota announced that its Indiana operations will take the wheel in developing a new Lexus model, which is a first for the Hoosier state. The new Lexus TX will be a three-row SUV that will come in two electrified powertrain options – a plug-in hybrid with a V6 engine, and a high-performance 2.4L turbocharged hybrid.
TX will be exclusively assembled by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI), and is the first Lexus vehicle to be assembled there. A few years ago in 2021, Toyota announced an $803 million investment in the plant to enable production of the Grand Highlander and Lexus TX models. More than 7,000 workers are employed at the Princeton, IN plant.
Hoosier Engine Maker Investing Over $1B Across U.S.
Did you know that over half of all medium and heavy-duty trucks on the road throughout the country today use Cummins engines? The Columbus-based firm is a giant in its field, and recently announced plans to scale things up with a new investment totaling more than $1 billion in Indiana, North Carolina, and New York.
Details on the specific expansion plans for Indiana weren’t available at the time of this writing. But officials did announce that $452 million was allocated to the Jamestown Engine Plant in New York and $10 million will be invested in the Fridley electrolyzer plant in Minnesota. Both of these projects will support greater sustainability goals in the engine industry.
In other Indiana news, Cummins recently partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee to create a new high temperature steel alloy. Their goal will be to create an alloy with high temperature oxidation resistance and strength, while maintaining affordability. This too will also support efforts in more sustainable transportation.
Each of these developments signifies the strength of Indiana’s auto manufacturing sector in their own right. But when looked at collectively, a picture of a very robust vehicle-related economy becomes apparent. Our state is sought after by some of the biggest automotive companies in the industry when choosing locations for their future growth. We keep the country rolling, in a sense, and in turn we’ll be keeping thousands of Hoosier households and businesses prosperous and productive for years to come.