Toyota Motor Corp. has sent some people to scour Mexico for possible locations for a production site, sources privy with the matter told Bloomberg. Toyota executives recently held a meeting with federal officials to discuss possible construction of a new site in the country, said one of the sources. Toyota remains that only global carmaker not having a full assembly plant in Mexico.
Carmakers have been flocking to Mexico mainly because of its low labor costs, trade agreements and proximity to the United States. In fact, a number of major carmakers -- Kia Motors Corp., BMW AG and a Daimler AG-Nissan Motor Co. venture – are investing into three $1-billion sites in the country.
While Toyota is mulling a site in Mexico, the size and the timing of the investment has yet to be determined, one of the sources said. Tony Saldana, a spokeswoman for Toyota, told Bloomberg in an e-mail that Toyota is “always evaluating opportunities in North America in line with market demand,” adding that no decisions have been made.
The Mexican government has said that around $10 billion of manufacturing sites have been announced or commenced opened since Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December 2012.
That surge in investment should make auto production in the country reach record 3.2 million in this year, according to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association. Toyota does not necessarily have no presence in Mexico.
The Japanese carmaker operates a small Tacoma pickup site near Tijuana, but the plant doesn’t build vehicles from scratch and isn’t regarded as a full assembly plant. Mazda Motor Corp. will also build 50,000 vehicles for Toyota annually.