Japanese automaker Toyota announced that the construction of its assembly plant in Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, currently has a progress of more than 70% and that the problems of fuel shortages in the region have not affected its schedule of operations.
At a press conference, Marisol Blanco, Director of Public Relations of the company, stressed that despite the setbacks, their plan to start operations later this year is still on.
“We have not reported any negative effect, we keep on with the plan to open at the end of 2019,” she said.
Toyota is currently investing US$ 700 million in the plant that will have an initial capacity to produce 100,000 Tacoma pickups per year.
Higher demand for hybrids
The company plans to market 15,000 hybrid cars in Mexico during 2019, 30% more than last year.
Guillermo Díaz, director of operations for Mexico, stressed that the increase will be due to the launch of two new models and the increased demand for vehicles because of a lower supply of gasoline in several states of the country.
"In recent weeks we had more visits in our dealerships from people asking about hybrid cars (...) about fuel efficiency,” the official said.
The gasoline shortage affects Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon, which are the markets that concentrate 64% of the demand for hybrid and electric cars in the country.
To take advantage of this situation, Toyota accelerated the launch of the hybrid version of its Rav4 SUV, which is now available in the Mexican market, while in April it will launch the hybrid version of Corolla.