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Toyota breaks ground on $100 million factory expansion in Columbus

The facility will manufacture electric forklifts and add 85 new jobs.
toyota material handling
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toyota material handling groundbreaking
Posted at 7:16 PM, May 29, 2024

COLUMBUS — Toyota has built forklifts in Columbus for more than 30 years. It is preparing to build a lot more with a new addition to its complex.

Toyota Material Handling broke ground on a $100 million, 295,000 square-foot expansion across the street from its headquarters on Wednesday. The new facility will solely manufacture electric forklifts.

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Toyota breaks ground on an expansion to its material handling headquarters in Columbus, Indiana.

"This is not a short term play, this is a long term solution looking at our 10-year industry forecast and sales forecast," said Toyota Material Handling senior vice president Tony Miller.

Miller estimates 65% of forklifts sold in North America are now electric-powered.

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A forklift at Toyota Material Handling's North American headquarters in Columbus, Indiana.

Toyota plans to open the expansion in June 2026 and add 85 new jobs with an average wage of $28.80 per hour.

Gov. Eric Holcomb attended the groundbreaking and said he is impressed by the new jobs coming to Columbus.

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"These are good careers that matter to families," Holcomb said. "That's how you address brain drain, that's how you build up communities at a foundational level. These are not just jobs, but career opportunities for all."

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A planned expansion to Toyota Material Handling's North American headquarters in Columbus, Indiana.

The factory is a source of pride for Columbus Recycling Center director Heather Siesel because the facility uses a Toyota forklift to handle cardboard.

"We use it every day," Siesel said. "We appreciate having something that's made here right in town."

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A Toyota forklift at the Columbus Recycling Center in Columbus, Indiana.

Siesel said the forklifts help give Columbus a reputation as a city where quality machines are built.

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"We wish more things were made here," Siesel said. "It's great to have partnerships with Toyota and Cummins for local materials, and we do appreciate that."

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A "Made in Columbus, Indiana" sticker on a Toyota forklift.

Toyota has built nearly 900,000 forklifts in Columbus since the material handling facility opened in 1990.

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