JAPAN: President says Toyota will not close home factories
Export Toyota production at the Tsutsumi plant in central Japan in mid-2009
Toyota chief Akio Toyoda has denied the company is looking to increase production overseas at the expense of its domestic factories as the surging yen makes it more costly to produce vehicles in Japan.
Following a number of speculative reports at the weekend, the company president said although ''logically, it doesn't make sense to manufacture in Japan,'' he would be concerned over the future of the country which largely depends on manufacturing.
He told reporters in Nagoya: ''I know that the present situation for manufacturing is very tough, but our Toyota group places much importance on maintaining production (bases in Japan).''
Japanese manufacturers have stepped up moves to transfer production overseas as the yen has shot up against the dollar and other major currencies and hovered at a 15-and-a-half year high of around JPY81 to the US dollar in Tokyo on Monday.
Toyoda also said he hopes the government will help nurture the automobile business as the pillar of growth for industry and that his company plans to expand its housing business abroad in the future.
At the weekend the Asahi newspaper reported Toyota was considering a second assembly plant in Mexico to counter the effects of the rising yen.
Toyota currently makes pickup trucks mainly for the US market in Mexico. The newspaper said the carmaker plans to produce compact cars for North America at the new factory from around 2013. It did not cite its sources.
The Tokyo Shimbun daily said Toyota is considering halting exports from Japan of the Corolla sedan from around 2013 and shifting that output overseas.
The Corolla is built in 15 countries. In 2009, Toyota made about 235,000 Corollas in Japan - nearly 60% of which were exported - and 815,000 abroad. Toyota is due to start producing the Corolla at its new Mississippi plant from autumn 2011 after the closure of a California factory formerly owned with General Motors.
Tokyo Shimbun also reported that Toyota was also considering shifting production of all Corolla cars sold in Japan to one of its subsidiaries. Toyota currently builds the model at its own Takaoka factory and at two units, Kanto Auto Works and Central Motor Co.
Most Japanese carmakers have vowed not to close any assembly plants in the country but executives have warned that suppliers may be forced to shift production abroad.
Mitsubishi Motors president Osamu Masuko told reporters last week he thought the government did not realise how much damage the strong yen poses to companies.
Nissan said earlier this month it may turn one of its Japanese factories into a new subsidiary, allowing it to broach wage negotiations with labour unions and seek lower prices from suppliers.
The two big questions as we lurched into this week were "What will happen to Saab?" and "What will happen at Renault?" One was answered, sort of....
Toyota Motor Corporation on Friday said vehicle production in Japan from 10 May to 3 June would be at about half the usual rate....
The European Commission has approved an application from Belgium for assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The EUR9,593,931 requested by the Belgian authorities is to help ...
Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries will suspend operations at its US assembly plant on 15, 18 and 25 April due to parts shortages following the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, company offici...
Ford has shut down its operations in the Philippines for one month because a shortage of parts caused by the earthquake disaster in Japan....
Toyota and Lexus European sales rose 13% in the first quarter to 233,336 vehicles with monthly vehicle consistently exceeding targets since June last year....
New vehicle sales in Vietnam rose by 1.4% to 9,513 units in March, from 9,384 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Association....
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Chinese scoop up Pirelli
- ANALYSIS: VW Group - success and succession
- ANALYSIS: Depressed Thai market forces rethink
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: A new Volkswagen for the fleets
- ANALYSIS: UK supplier industry perks up
- New York show debuts: Lincoln Continental added
- Tata's Jaguar Land Rover announces GBP 600m spend
- Volvo Cars to build US factory
- Mahindra throws in the Brazil towel
- Car sharing won't replace car ownership - BMW