Toyota plans to nearly double production capacity at its plant in South Africa by 2007 as part of a strategy to expand overseas, the Associated Press reported, citing a Japanese newspaper.

The plant, operated by subsidiary Toyota South Africa Motors, will raise its output capacity to 200,000 vehicles a year, from its current level of 110,000 vehicles, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reportedly said without citing a source.

The AP report said that, by 2007, the plant is expected to be assembling up to 120,000 IMV series pickups and sport utility vehicles a year.

The vehicles will be exported to Europe, where Toyota's unit sales rose 10% to 916,000 vehicles last year, the newspaper reportedly said.

According to the report Toyota's European production jumped 47% to 583,000 vehicles last year, but the company is still anticipating a supply shortfall. The new plant in the Czech Republic opened this spring, and another in Russia is expected to come online in 2007.