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To Russia With Love, Toyota Expanding Exports of American-Made Vehicles

Foreign-owned brands increasingly using U.S. plants as global production base.

by on Feb.28, 2013

A Venza at the Toyota engineering center near Detroit.

Toyota will begin exporting its Venza crossover to Russia and Ukraine later this year, part of an expanding list of products the maker is shipping from its network of U.S. assembly plants to markets around the world.

And Toyota isn’t alone. A growing number of American-made products are being earmarked for export, a reversal of a decades-long downward trend that saw most of the cross-border traffic involving foreign-made vehicles imported for American showrooms.

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Toyota and other Asian makers are rapidly ramping up export programs, but European makers still dominate, as much as half of the production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama going abroad in a typical year. Domestic makers, ironically, have been lagging in the export drive, though that may also be changing.

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