Toyota Argentina has opened a new 3,000m2 parts-painting plant at its Zarate complex in Buenos Aires.

The $US12.3m project allows the automaker to paint 80,000 bumpers a year at the plant where it makes the Hilux pick-up truck and SW4 SUV for export to Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

“The inauguration of this site marks a successful stage in the development of Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Argentina and strengthens [our] operations in South America,” the Argentine unit’s president Anibal Borderes said in a statement.

The move is part of a $US38m investment to expand Zarate which includes a new 1,200m2 stamping plant scheduled for completion in mid-2007. The stamping plant will boost output to 47 different types of pressing daily from 12 now.

The 2,600-worker Zarate plant churns out 65,000 units per year.

Ivan Castano