Toyota gears up for expansion mode
Toyota is ending a three-year freeze on building new vehicle assembly plants and is looking to open two new plants in China and another in Mexico, four executives familiar with the company's plans said.
The Japanese car-maker has already completed initial feasibility studies in both China and Mexico, according to those executives, and "the teams are ready to execute," as one of them put it.
Jim Lentz, head of Toyota's North American operations, said on Monday that after "a three-year hold" on new capacity investments, the standstill is over for Toyota.
Lentz, who spoke on the sidelines of the Detroit motor show, left, would not comment on specific plans to add production capacity in Mexico or China.
"We're going to grow again. We will climb the staircase. But it's a different way than in the past. It's not going to be growth for growth's sake," he said.
In China Toyota is evaluating plans to build two assembly plants - one in the northeastern city of Changchun and the southern city of Guangzhou where the company already produces cars. In Mexico, Toyota is looking at a site for a passenger car plant in the state of Guanajuato, people familiar with the plans said. (Reuters)