Toyota will build a new plant in the state of Guanajuato in Central Mexico to manufacture the Corolla. The company said it will invest approximately $1 billion in the new production facility, which is expected to employ around 2,000 people and have an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles.
The announcement is part of a multi-year plan to realign its manufacturing operations in North America in support of the recently-announced Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).
Once the new Mexican plant starts building Corolla vehicles in 2019 for the 2020 model year, Toyota’s Canadian plant in Cambridge, Ontario, will switch from producing Corollas to mid-sized, higher-value vehicles. This move will mark Toyota’s first major reinvestment in the plant since it opened in 1997.
The automaker also said it will make significant new investments over several years in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada’s (TMMC) assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, Ontario, in order to implement TNGA modifications. The Woodstock plant will continue building the RAV4, while the Cambridge South Plant will continue to produce the Lexus RX 350 and 450h.
These moves will help Toyota group production by common vehicle platforms in each North American plant to improve efficiency and enhance flexibility. “Our next-generation production facility in Mexico will be a model for the future of global manufacturing and set a new standard for innovation and excellence. Transforming our Canadian vehicle assembly plants is an equally important part of our strategic plan to position the North America region for sustainable long-term growth,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota North America.
Toyota’s vehicle assembly facility in Guanajuato will be Toyota’s 15th in North America, its first since 2011 and its largest investment in Mexico to date.