With steady growth in North American sales pinching capacity throughout the auto industry, Toyota Motor Corp is struggling to maintain its market share and now plans to boost capacity with a $200 million investment at three key factories in the U.S.
Toyota is far from alone. Sales in the U.S. are expected to jump from 14.5 million in 2012 to 15.5 million this year, leaving a number of makers racing to keep pace. Among manufacturers now planning to add employees and, if necessary, expand existing facilities are Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co. Chrysler Group, Nissan Motors and Honda.
The steep recession that started in 2008 forced manufacturers and suppliers to trim capacity and until now they have been slow to add new capacity even as sales have recovered. But the tempo of new investment finally is picking up.