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Toyota Material Handling Expands Indiana Footprint with Nearly $100M Expansion Project

group photo in front of groundbreaking sign with governor of Indiana and TMH executives holding shovels

Toyota Material Handling held a groundbreaking ceremony for a nearly $100M expansion project in Columbus, Indiana. The company intends to use the new factory specifically for electric forklift production. (Photo Pictured L to R: Brett Wood, Toyota Material Handling North America President & CEO; Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana; Bill Finerty, Toyota Material Handling President & CEO; Tony Miller, Toyota Material Handling Senior Vice President of Engineering, Operations & Strategic Planning)


Columbus, Ind. (May 30, 2024) – Toyota Material Handling, the North American leader in material handling solutions, proudly announced a significant expansion to its Columbus, Indiana headquarters during a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday.


The company – which first began building forklifts in Columbus in 1990 – is investing nearly $100M for a new 295,000-square-foot manufacturing facility dedicated to producing electric products. This expansion marks another milestone in Toyota’s growth as a company and its longstanding partnership with the state of Indiana, and highlights the organization’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and solving customer problems.


“We are excited about this significant strategic expansion to our Columbus campus,” said Tony Miller, Toyota Material Handling Senior Vice President of Engineering, Operations & Strategic Planning. “At Toyota, we will always be driven by what is best for our customers. Electric products are more popular than ever, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to keep up with increased demand. This new factory will allow us to deliver those electric units to customers faster than we can today.”


The project will allow Toyota Material Handling to add 85 new jobs by the start of production in June 2026.

“Indiana has made it a strategic priority to cultivate the economy of the future, and we continue to see the impact of our work thanks to the partnership of great companies like Toyota,” said Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, who attended the groundbreaking event on Wednesday. “We’re so grateful to see Toyota continuing to invest heavily in southern Indiana. Toyota’s been a cherished partner and career cultivator to the State for the last 35 years, and we look forward to strengthening our bond even more in the decades to come in and around the Columbus region. Today’s remarkable announcement shows yet again just how important our state’s business-friendly environment – focus on long-term success and access to a skilled workforce – is to companies seeking to expand and grow far into the future.”


The decision to invest an additional $100 million in a new factory underscores Toyota Material Handling's dedication to advancing sustainable technologies and meeting the evolving needs of its customers. The facility will allow Toyota to leverage cutting-edge manufacturing processes to produce electric products much more quickly than it can today, while meeting the high standard of quality customers expect from Toyota.


“Electric forklifts make up 65% of the North American market and this trend towards electrification in the material handling industry will continue to grow,” said Brett Wood, President & CEO of Toyota Material Handling North America and Senior Executive Officer for Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO). “We hope this announcement shows our industry-leading dealer network and our customers that we are a proactive company, not a reactive one. We do not just plan for next week or next year – we’re preparing for the next decade, and this new initiative perfectly represents our commitment to that strategy. This investment is one of the largest in our history and signifies TICO’s commitment to the North American market, the state of Indiana, the city of Columbus, and most importantly, our dealers and our customers.”


This is far from the first time Toyota Material Handling has reinvested in its North American headquarters.


Since first establishing its presence in Columbus in 1990, Toyota has been a cornerstone of the local community and an integral part of Indiana’s manufacturing landscape. At the time, Toyota Material Handling was split into two separate companies.


The sales and marketing arm of the company – formerly Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. (TMHU) – was headquartered in Irvine, California, from 2002 until 2012, when it relocated to Columbus as part of a $4.6M expansion.


In 2015, Toyota completed a $16M expansion to add more than 50,000 square feet to its facility, including a two-story office building, a new cafeteria,  storm shelter, and locker rooms.


In 2017, the company opened a state-of-the-art wellness center – the Toyota Recreational Complex (T+Rex) – to provide its employees with more easily accessible health and wellness opportunities right on the Toyota campus. The 35,000-square-foot facility features two basketball courts, an indoor track, an exercise room, a recreation room, and more. The T+Rex facility offers all of the amenities of a modern fitness center including a yoga room, free weights, treadmills, and other fitness equipment. It also includes a medical center to provide primary health care, wellness coaching, physical therapy, and a pharmacy at no cost to Toyota associates and their families.


Later in 2017, Toyota invested another $17.5M to add more than 150,000 square feet to improve internal and external logistics at the facility by consolidating external warehouses to internal storage and distribution on site. The same year, the company also invested $7.3M to acquire the neighboring property and expand its footprint by 200,000 square feet. The acquisition allowed the company to relocate and renovate its aftermarket parts distribution center to provide customers with the parts they need more quickly.


Including the newest project, Toyota has completed more than 15 total expansions in 34 years, with over $400M in total investments. When the new factory is complete, Toyota’s Columbus footprint will grow to nearly 1.8M square feet – more than six times larger than the 280,000 square-foot facility it opened in 1990.


“I’m very pleased to see Toyota continue to grow in the Columbus community, said Columbus Mayor Mary Ferdon. “Beginning in 1990 when Toyota built their initial plant in Columbus, we’ve seen the impact the company has had on the area through the high-quality careers they provide, and through the work they’ve done for Columbus and Bartholomew County. Toyota is a wonderful community partner providing financial resources and volunteers to organizations throughout the community. We look forward to this expansion and our continued relationship and partnership with Toyota as we build a prosperous community for all.”


Learn more about Toyota, its products, and the company’s growth in Indiana at ToyotaForklift.com.

About Toyota Material Handling

Toyota Material Handling offers material handling products and solutions, including forklifts, reach trucks, order pickers, pallet jacks, container handlers, automated guided vehicles, and tow tractors, along with aerial work platforms, fleet management services, and advanced automation engineering and design. Toyota’s commitment to quality, reliability and customer satisfaction, the hallmark of the Toyota Production System, extends throughout more than 230 locations across North America. With access to an industry-leading lineup of material handling products, Toyota dealers are uniquely positioned to help solve wide-ranging challenges in warehousing and distribution. Built for every application, Toyota can provide the most complete set of solutions for material handling, automation, energy, advanced logistics, and warehouse optimization. For more information or to learn more, visit ToyotaForklift.com.

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