Toyota breaks ground for new Mexican plant
Toyota has held a groundbreaking ceremony in Apaseo el Grande for its new Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT) facility.
The US$ 1 billion factory will be Toyota’s 15th manufacturing plant in North America and its second in Mexico, complementing a Baja California facility that builds the Tacoma pickup.
The Guanajuato factory will focus solely on the Corolla, which claims the title of best-selling nameplate across the globe. The company expects to build up to 200,000 units per year, potentially expanding to other vehicles based on the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.
The factory will begin producing vehicles in 2019, presumably starting with the 2020 Corolla. It will employ around 2,000 workers from the Bajio region.
Mexico’s booming automotive manufacturing industry has emerged as a talking point in US presidential politics. President-elect Donald Trump’s NAFTA criticisms have mostly focused on US automakers, but the Kentucky-built Toyota Corolla is actually considered the most American-made vehicle according to Cars.com.
TNGA will serve as a catalyst for building more models on common platforms, making intelligent use of common parts, and fully leveraging Toyota’s supply chain.
“TMMGT will afford us the opportunity to boost vehicle quality and appeal while achieving cost savings through production engineering innovations,” said Mike Bafan, TMMGT president. “This plant will also be simple, sustainable, mindful of its environment and highly competitive. Ultimately, this means our customers will benefit from our cars being produced locally with the highest quality and environmental standards.”
“Toyota’s investment in Guanajuato represents a long-term sign of our commitment to Mexico, its people and the Bajio region,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, TMC board chairman. “TMMGT will play a key role in how we make products in the future, while setting a standard for manufacturing excellence in the industry.”
He also highlighted that under Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, which seeks to reduce the company’s global carbon footprint, Toyota will lower CO2 emissions and water usage by fifty percent. In Guanajuato alone, the automaker will help clean up Río Querétaro and strengthen water conservation.