Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Toyota to invest US $328M in adaptation of Guanajuato plant

Japanese carmaker Toyota will invest another US $328 million in its plant in Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, to adapt its production processes to build its recently announced new hybrid Tacoma truck.

President of Toyota México Luis Lozano Olivares announced the investment at a meeting with Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo on Thursday, during the governor’s tour of Japan.

The new hybrid Toyota Tacoma pickup will be manufactured in Guanajuato, although the vehicles will be exported to the U.S. and Canada. (Toyota)

“This is how Toyota reaffirms its commitment to Mexico after more than 20 years of operations in the country, not only with constant investment, but also through the generation of quality jobs and improvement of automotive technology,” Lozano said.

The company said the new initiative would bring its total investment in the Guanajuato plant up to US $1.2 billion since its construction in 2011, noting that the plant currently employs more than 2,500 people.

Sinhue also met with Honda executives in Japan, who also discussed the expansion of their plant in Celaya, Guanajuato.

“They informed us that they have continued to invest in their Celaya plant, to reach an accumulated investment of US $1.58 billion and 4,600 jobs created,” the governor said. “That’s trust in Guanajuato!”

Honda said that they have continued to invest in Mexico, with their Celaya, Guanajuato, plant passing the US $ 1.5 billion mark since opening in 2011. (Diego Sinhue/Twitter)

In Toyota’s case, converting its Guanajuato plant to produce hybrid vehicles is an important part of the company’s electrification strategy, as carmakers around the world move towards more climate-friendly electric vehicles (EVs). However, the Tacoma trucks that will be produced at the plant are mostly intended for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Mexico has become a key EV manufacturing hub in recent years, with other major investments including a planned Tesla factory in Nuevo León and a BMW EV plant in San Luis Potosí.

But EVs remain prohibitively expensive for most Mexicans, and are impractical outside of major cities due to a lack of charging stations. Only 2,022 hybrid or electric vehicles were sold in Mexico during the first two months of this year, a third of those in Mexico City. 

In 2022, only 0.5% of vehicles sold in Mexico were fully electric, a percentage that falls well below other markets such as China, Europe and the United States.

With reports from Reforma and La Silla Rota

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