Toyota details production, investment scale back in Guanajuato plant
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Toyota executive vice-president Didier Leroy confirmed reporters at the Tokyo Motor Show that the company is scaling back plans for a new vehicle assembly plant in Mexico due to market requirements.
The Japanese automaker in 2015 had announced plans to invest US$ 1 billion to build a new 200,000 unit/year plant in Guanajuato to make the Corolla compact car, with production scheduled to begin in 2019.
However, the investment will be scaled back to US$ 700 million and capacity to be reduced to 100,000 units per year because the Corolla will now be produced at a new joint venture plant in the U.S. with Mazda, and the Guanajuato plant will build the Tacoma pickup truck instead.
Leroy pointed out that the decision was based on market factors and part of a broader realignment of its North American operations, rather than in response to political pressure from the Trump administration, as pickups and SUV are now facing more demand among customers.
Between hours after the comment was made, company officials in Mexico added in a statement that capacity was reduced because Toyota already builds Tacoma pickups at another Mexican facility in Tijuana, which is currently under expansion to reach a 160,000 units-a-year output.
The company also noted that the investment was reduced because the Guanajuato facility will not feature the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform for now, which the new Corolla is already based on, hence making the tooling process more affordable.