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Report: Toyota May Greenlight Mexico Plant by Next Month

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/23/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Currently, Toyota is the only large scale automaker without a major production stronghold in Mexico. But that soon may change as Toyota is looking to finalize plans for a new Mexico plant by as early as next month.

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Speaking with three unnamed sources, Reuters reported that the board of directors could soon approve Toyota's first passenger car assembly plant in Mexico. Starting in 2019, the plant would produce Corolla sedans. The new plant is expected to be located in Guanajuato, or the same state in Mexico where Mazda will help produce Toyota vehicles under a new agreement between the two automakers.

Toyota officials recently traveled to the central state to talk to government officials about securing a plot of land for the factory. While this may seem like proof Toyota is heading to Mexico, the automaker has not made an official announcement. "North America is an important market for Toyota and we are always considering how best to globally optimize our production structure," Toyota's vice president of corporate and regional communications Scott Vazin told us. "However, we have nothing to announce related to current or future production plans."

If Toyota does approve a new plant in Mexico, it would represent a departure from President Akio Toyoda's conservative strategy over the past few years. During his tenure, the president has worked to curb quality lapses that occurred during the 2009 recalls, which he blamed on the company's aggressive expansion.

Automakers have been flocking to Mexico during the past few years. Between 2009 to 2014, auto production has doubled to more than 3 million vehicles annually. But Toyota hasn't completely avoided the nation; its factory in Baja California builds Tacoma pickups.

Source: Reuters

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