Nikkei. Faced with demand it can’t meet from its US plants, Toyota plans to increase the number of cars it exports from Japan to the US to about 1.1 million vehicles in 2007, up 40% from 2004.
According to plans submitted to shippers, Toyota will export 850,000 vehicles to the U.S. in 2005 and 1.1 million in 2007. Shipments to the overall North American market are expected to top 1 million in 2006 and 1.2 million in 2007.
The bulk of the shipment hike will consist of Camry and Corolla sedans, Scion models targeted at young drivers, the Prius and other hybrid cars, and the Lexus LS luxury vehicle.
Toyota’s North American production came to 1.44 million units last year, representing 62% of the Toyota vehicles sold in that market. The firm plans to lift its capacity there to 2 million-plus in 2008, when its seventh North American plant—in Canada—is due to come online, raising its local production ratio to 75%.
But Toyota’s existing North American factories are already operating at full capacity, andthe company expects to remain unable to fully meet the growing demand until the completion of its eighth plant in the region around 2010.