Toyota Brazil has confirmed a BRL1bn/US$280m investment for its Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo state, manufacturing plant, 95km/57miles northwest of the state capital Sao Paulo City.
The money will update the plant and make it more flexible. The Brazilian home of the Corolla is 20 years old now.
The new generation saloon based on TNGA architecture is due to be launched in Brazil in 2020. The brand is considering a hybrid version as well.
This is the first auto industry investment following the recently announced Rota (Route) 2030 Programme laid down for the auto industry.
“This is one more example of how the company trusts in Brazil and in the Brazilians. With this investment our plant will become even more competitive in exports”
“This is one more example of how the company trusts in Brazil and in the Brazilians. With this investment our plant will become even more competitive in exports”, said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota CEO for Latin America and Caribbean and Toyota of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela chairman.
Besides updating all Indaiatuba assembly line processes, the plant will focus on labour force skill development using new technical resources, ergonomics improvement and training.
In 1996, Toyota started building its second plant in the country on a 1.8m square yard plot with an initial investment of $150m to produce the first Brazil built Toyota in 1998. Another $300m launched the ninth generation Corolla in June 2002. In 2004 Corolla production reached the 100,000-unit mark.
Market consolidation led to launching the Corolla Fielder estate in May 2004. A flexible fuel engine for all versions came in 2007. For the first time, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan developed the technology exclusively for Brazil.
In 2008 came the 10th generation Corolla and, in 2014, the 11th. Three years later (March 2017) the automaker reached the 1m produced mark.
The plant site includes a 1km test track.
The first Corollas landed, fully assembled, in Brazil in 1994, four years after automobile imports were resumed for the first time since 1976. Sales in the first three years showed Toyota there was increasing consumer interest in the saloon. The ever-growing demand supported plans to make local production feasible.
In the first eight months of 2018 the model posted 38,159 registrations for 44% of total sales of this market segment.
Brazil was the first country outside Japan to assemble Toyota vehicles, beginning with the Land Cruiser (known locally as the Bandeirante) in 1959.