It looks likely that Toyota will increasingly rely on its overseas plants, after company president Fujio Cho said the auto maker expects to boost output at its North American factories to around two million vehicles a year by 2004.

“We’re moving quickly to shift production to local factories there,” Cho told reporters at a press conference for Toyota’s new Mark II luxury sedan. By late 2001, the company should be making around 1.76 million cars in North America, he added.

The Japanese car giant has four North American plants, which assemble cars and trucks for the U.S. and Canadian markets, which together represent the world’s biggest automobile market. It also has recently embarked on plans to expand its Indiana truck factory by 2003.