Mexico president Vicente Fox on Monday visited Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) for the official opening of the plant that builds truck beds for the Tacoma pickup.

Annual capacity at TMMBC will be 180,000 truck beds and 30,000 pickup trucks. Production of the Tacoma will begin in December 2004 and the truck beds made will be used in production both at TMMBC and New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) - the Toyota and General Motors joint venture plant in Fremont, California.

There are currently 586 workers at TMMBC, and total investment in the plant is about $US140 million. When Tacoma production begins later this year, the staff count will rise to about 700.

TMMBC also has a $6.6 millionn on-site supplier facility that employs 140 people. The facility will be run by CAMEX, which is a Mexican subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho America, a logistical and service provider to Toyota.

By 2006, Toyota will have the capacity to build 1.66 million cars and trucks and 1.29 million engines annually in North America.