A top Toyota executive has denied reports this week that the company is thinking about building a car assembly plant in Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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However, the executive confirmed that the Japanese car maker is looking seriously at Mexico where it is not currently represented. Toyota opened an office in the country last May to "survey and research the Mexican market", the magazine said.

"Until now we really paid little to no attention to Mexico, but our thinking is that should no longer be the case," top North American Toyota executive 'Tag' Taguchi told the Wall Street Journal. "We are studying the Mexican market from all angles."

Taguchi added that Toyota is years away from building a factory there if at all.

"Our hands are tied with expanding capacity in the U.S. through 2003," Taguchi told the WSJ.

The company is currently planning to increase North American production capacity to 1.45 million vehicles a year by 2003.

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