Toyota Resumes Plant Expansion, Moves Corolla Production

Apr 16, 2015 06:51 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Toyota is back and ready to start making production plants again, at least in China and Mexico.

The company announced on Wednesday that it will invest $1 billion in a new Guanajuato plant and about $440 million to add a new manufacturing facility and a third line to the existing plant in China, according to a Toyota release.

Toyota stopped investing in new plants to deal with massive recalls over a number of issues like power steering controls and electric-vehicle software.

Production for Toyota's popular Corolla compact car will move to the Mexican plant starting in 2019 from its current factory in Cambridge, Ontario. The Ontario plant will instead be used for midsize sedan production.

Toyota's second plant in Mexico will have the capacity to make 200,000 new Corollas annually for North America starting in 2019. The factory will add about 2,000 new jobs in central Mexico.

"We are thrilled to invest further in North America so we can better meet the needs of our customers for decades to come," said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota North America in a company statement. "This strategic re-thinking of how and where we build our products will create new opportunities for our company, our business partners and our team members across the region."

Don't worry pickup fans, trucks will still be made in Texas and at Toyota's first Mexican plant in Tijuana, which mainly focuses on the Tacoma.

In the future, Toyota plants in central U.S. and Canada will spend their time on more expensive cars and SUVs. 

The third production line at Toyota's Guangzhoi plant should be completed in about two years, with the expectation of making 100,000 cars each year, according to Toyota.

Toyota hasn't confirmed what vehicle it will build on the new China line yet.

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