As Toyota prepares for the 17 September launch of its locally-built Etios B-segment model, a senior director of the company's Latin American operations has spoken of his vision of the Brazilian market becoming larger than Japan's.

"By 2015 the domestic market in Brazil will be bigger Japan’s, in tune with our expansion plans in emerging countries," said Hisayuki Inoue, Toyota's senior director for Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, as the company's new Brazilian plant was opened.

Toyota is finally set to build a so-called 'compact' car in Brazil. It will be manufactured at the new Sorocaba plant in São Paulo state. This is the firm's third production facility in the country. The automaker will add production of the Corolla as well as engines for the Etios at a new complex in Porto Feliz, halfway between Indaiatuba and Sorocaba.

The first Toyota manufacturing plant outside Japan was built in 1958 in São Bernardo do Campo, Greater São Paulo to produce the Land Cruiser (J40).  Despite its long history in Brazil, Toyota performed poorly in the country until 1998, when the second São Paulo plant was inaugurated in Indaiatuba. This facility was set up to build the Corolla.