The Asahi Shimbun reports that Toyota will shift its strategy for the North American market to fuel-efficient small and mid-size cars in response to high gasoline prices and a slowing US economy.
As a result, Toyota will operate its new Texas plant—which produces the full-size Tundra pickup—at less than full capacity initially, according to the report. Output in 2007 is planned to be about 150,000 units, down from the capacity of 200,000.
Toyota will double production of the Camry to 200,000 units a year with production support from Subaru’s Indiana plant. Subaru Indiana is the US subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, in which Toyota took an 8.7% stake last October. In addition to the Camry production at the Fuji Heavy subsidiary, Toyota’s second plant in Ontario, Canada is scheduled to be completed in 2008.
After US production of the Camry doubles in October 2007, Toyota plans to stop exporting the model to North America from Japan, according to the report. The Tsutsumi plant in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, which makes the Camry for the North American market, will instead increase production of the Prius gas-electric hybrid for export to North America.