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Toyota buys Brazil land, plans plant PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 July 2008

AP, TOKYO -- Toyota is acquiring land in Brazil for a new plant and is studying plans to build compact vehicles there as early as 2011 -- the latest in an aggressive drive by automakers in emerging markets.

The plant would create about 2,500 jobs and have initial annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, Toyota Motor Corp. said in a statement Wednesday.
Toyota, Japan's top automaker, already has an auto plant in Brazil, which started building Corolla compacts in 1998, and another plant that makes auto parts. The company is buying land for the new plant in the city of Sorocaba in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, near the two other plants.
Toyota, a relative minor player in Brazil, sold 72,000 vehicles, mostly Corollas, in the South American country last year, but has seen sales gradually grow. Toyota set up shop in Brazil 50 years ago.
Soaring gas prices and the growing worries about global warming are perking global interest in Toyota's products, especially small cars reputed for good mileage.
Toyota's sales are growing at a pace some analysts say is likely to put it ahead of General Motors Corp. as the world's No. 1 automaker in terms of global vehicle sales.
Separately, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said the company was ''taking another look'' at its global plans for 2008, following a report by public broadcaster NHK that said Toyota plans to cut this year's global sales target to 9.5 million vehicles from the original 9.85 million vehicles.
The reported target will still mark growth for Toyota, which sold about 9.4 million vehicles worldwide last year. Toyota reviews such targets in July every year.
Last week, Toyota undertook widespread manufacturing changes in the U.S., where automakers have been battered by the jump in gas prices and worries about an economic slowdown.
Under the plan, Toyota will start producing the Prius in late 2010 at a plant it is building in Blue Springs, Mississippi, instead of the initially planned sport utility vehicle -- the first time Toyota will build the popular hybrid in the U.S.
Toyota has been struggling to keep up with booming demand for the Prius, now built only in Japan and China.
Toyota also decided to suspend truck and SUV production, including the Tundra pickup at its San Antonio truck plant and the Sequoia sport utility vehicle at its Princeton, Indiana, plant for three months.
Toyota shares dipped 1.3 percent 4,620 yen ($44) in Wednesday morning trading.

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