Toyota Motor Corp. mulls building more Lexus RX sport utility vehicles, the best-selling Lexus model worldwide, for North America by increasing its production capacity in Canada, a source told Reuters. The carmaker’s Ontario plant in Canada, the only site outside Japan that builds Lexus models, produced 65,000 RX SUVs in 2011.
Since it is costlier for Toyota to export vehicles from Japan due to the strong yen, the carmaker has been shifting some of its domestic production out of the country to places where it markets its products. Despite the strategy, Toyota has repeatedly vowed to retain the production of around 3 million vehicles annually in Japan, which almost tripled the domestic output of its local rivals Nissan and Honda.
According to a recent report by public broadcaster NHK, Toyota is planning to increase the production capacity of its Toronto plant in 2014 and is considering shifting production of about 30,000 RX SUVs from its Miyata factory in southern Japan to Canada. In 2011, Toyota built around 81,000 RX SUVs at its Miyata plant.
The Japanese site, however, would continue to produce the same amount of vehicles, as other models would replace the RX on the production line, the source told Reuters, adding that Toyota will announce this move soon. Toyota’s Miyata plant earlier this month commenced production of the Lexus ES 2013 model, most of which will be exported to the United States and China.