Toyota inaugurates its third plant in Brazil

Japanese auto giant Toyota inaugurated a $600 million plant in the southeast Brazilian state of Sao Paulo on Thursday, its third in the country, with an initial aim of producing 70,000 cars a year.

The facility, located 91 kilometers (56 miles) west of Sao Paulo in Sorocaba, will begin producing Etios compact cars in September, with engines imported from Japan.

Toyota, which recently returned to the top of the global carmakers' league, is seeking to cash in on the rising prosperity of Brazil's expanding middle class, which today numbers around 95 million people, half the population.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, present at the inauguration, described the four-door Etios, which will be produced in hatchback and sedan versions, as "a car made by Brazilians for Brazilians".

The car is a modified version of the model already being sold in India and South Africa, which, like Brazil, are part of the BRICS bloc of emerging powers that is completed by China and Russia.

Brazilian Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel, Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Japanese Ambassador to Brazil Akira Miwa attended the ceremony, as did Brazilian soccer great Zico, a former coach of Japan.

Pimentel said the Sorocaba plant, billed as environmentally friendly and employing 1,500 workers, amounted to a vote of confidence from Toyota "in the strength of the Brazilian economy and the Brazilian auto market."

Brazil, now the world's sixth largest economy, is the world's fourth largest auto market after the United States, China and Japan.

Shunichi Nakanishi, president of Toyota Mercosur, said the company planned to double its sales in Brazil to around 200,000 vehicles in the next two years and become one of market leaders in the next decade.

The Japanese carmaker has been present in Brazil since 1958 but had less than three percent of the domestic auto market last year, lagging behind leading players Fiat, Volkswagen and General Motors.

Toyota has two other plants in Sao Paulo state: in Sao Bernardo do Campo, where it is headquartered, and in Indaituba.

On Wednesday, Toyota President Toyoda announced after talks with President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia that the automaker also planned to invest $495 million to build an engine plant in Porto Feliz, 20 miles from Sorocaba.

That facility will be ready in 2015, employ 600 people and churn out around 200,000 engines for Etios and Corolla vehicles.

The Porto Feliz engine plant will eventually enable Toyota to produce the two models with 85 percent local parts, thus avoiding a 30 percent import tax.

Last April, Brazilian authorities introduced a new directive known as Inovar Auto aimed at spurring innovation by forcing automakers to invest in vehicle and component research and product development.

The move triggered a flood of inward investment in the domestic auto market by companies hoping to avoid the import tax.

Toyota said the new investments are aimed at boosting local production "now that the Brazilian auto market is showing signs of consistent growth."

Sales in Brazil fell 1.2 percent in the first half of 2012, compared with the same period last year, according to the National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (ANFAVEA).

But government stimulus measures produced signs of a rebound in June, when sales rose 22.9 percent to 353,200 units, from 287,500 in May, according to the auto trade organization.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar
    South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar

    South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a controversial adultery law which for more than 60 years had criminalised extra-marital sex and jailed violators for up to two years. The decision saw shares in the South Korean firm Unidus Corp., one of the world's largest condom manufacturers, soar by the daily limit of 15 percent on the local stock exchange. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state power should not intervene in individuals' private lives," said …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition carried out air strikes Thursday against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The Observatory said negotiations were ongoing "through mediators from Arab tribes and a member of the Assyrian community" to …

  • Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark
    Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican sought Wednesday to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options