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Toyota to Build New Brazilian Plant

A sign that things are improving at the beleaguered automaker?

by on Jul.16, 2010

An inexpensive Corolla for emerging markets emerges in Brazil.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) said today it will build a new plant – its third – in Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil for Toyota do Brasil Ltda. (TDB), its Brazilian sales and manufacturing company.

TMC purchased land for the plant about 90 km west of the city of  São Paulo in July 2008, just before the reckless practices of Wall Street caused the ongoing global Great Recession, and the wreck of the auto business.

TMC has now decided to start construction in September 2010, with production of a newly developed Corolla-class compact car to begin in the second-half of 2012. It will be based on the Etios, which goes into production in India late this year.

Initially, approximately 70,000 vehicles will be produced annually at the plant, constructed at a cost of $600 million and employing  approximately 1,500 people. Plans include production for export to unspecified emerging markets.

TDB was established in 1958 as TMC’s first overseas production base. Currently, the company produces parts at its São Bernardo Plant and the Corolla at its Indaiatuba Plant. However, Toyota, in spite of its pioneering efforts, remains a tiny player in the region with just a 3% share in the booming Brazilian market, where Fiat is first with a 20% share and fighting off  a resurging General Motors.