Kluger Production Moving To US In 2013

Mike Stevens | Feb 13, 2012

Australian-delivered versions of the Toyota Kluger will soon be drawn from the carmaker's American plant, with the strong Yen ending Japanese production of the midsized SUV.

Announced this week, Kluger models built in the US - where it is sold as the Highlander - will be sold locally, and exported to Australia and Russia from late 2013.

"This project allows for better utilization of the Indiana plant and will help Toyota capitalize on the improving North American and global auto market," Steve St. Angelo, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc (TMMI) said.

TMMI boss Norm Bafunno said the shift forms part of the company's localisation plans, building vehicles "where we sell them".

While the Kluger's new US production base is even further from Australia, it moves assembly closer to Russia, a larger market for the Kluger.

2011 toyota kluger australia 06

With the Kluger no longer sold in Japan, the carmaker's localisation strategy rules out Japanese production.

The Kluger is also sold in China, although variants for that model are built locally.

Does this mean that the strong-selling Kluger will someday be built in Australia?

It's not impossible (although it would likely be the next-generation model), and the company's Australian arm has long held plans for a third model in its domestic production schedule, alongside the Camry and Aurion.

While the Kluger was expected to be that third model, this week's news suggests we could instead see a locally-built Corolla in the future. Toyota Australia boss Max Yasuda has made no secret of his push for a third local model.

The Kluger is currently the second-best selling medium SUV in Australia, with its 11,692 sales in 2011 trailing the Ford Territory's 13,866 sales.

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Filed under: Featured, Toyota, manufacturing, News, toyota kluger, industry, kluger

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  • Fred says,
    3 years ago
    Russia has left hand steering, but it read in your article that they have right hand steering.

    Strange article anyway, with a lot "what could be".

    It actually would make sense for Toyota to import the Kluger from China and built the Corolla locally.
  • Roger says,
    3 years ago
    Well, there goes the quality! Nobody puts stuff together like the Japanese.
    • Tocam says,
      3 years ago
      I somewhat agree with you there. American built quality is questionable when compared to Japanese, especially for Toyota.
    • Dave says,
      3 years ago
      2 likes
      That's because they have small delicate hands compared to the gigantic mitts of an overweight American.

  • ammerty says,
    3 years ago
    1 like
    Given the track record of Toyotas manufactured in the US (1MZ-FE sludge issues spring to mind, amongst others) you can pretty much boot quality out the window.
    • Mak says,
      3 years ago
      2 likes
      I own a Toyota kluger grande current shape and was hoping to get the new model in 2013,But there goes that dream. The Subaru Tribeca comes from US and the workmanship that has been put to those car is 5 out 10
  • Cy Fort says,
    3 years ago
    2 likes
    If the Kluger is gonna come from USA can we get the Tundra with the twin turbo diesel rhd. Its a big piece of the market no one is doing properly. they can have back the FJ 40.
  • edwin says,
    2 years ago
    i bought a kluger from japan,am in zambia where we use English,but the car GPS was in japanese,and the manuals accompanying were also in japanese can someone help.
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