Toyota inaugurated a new assembly plant in Apaseo El Grande, Guanajuato, on Thursday, where it showcased its first Tacoma model pickup truck made in Mexico.
The company’s second in Mexico, the plant was built with an initial investment of US $700 million. It is expected to build 100,000 Tacoma trucks per year and generate 1,000 jobs in the area.
The president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Guanajuato, Francisco García, said that 60% of the employees are from Celaya and the rest from Apaseo El Grande.
The plant began trial operations at the end of last year but Thursday marked the beginning of formal production. The two Mexican plants are expected to produce 266,000 Tacoma pickups a year.
Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo attended the inauguration ceremony and said that the plant will give a “historic boost” to the development of the surrounding 15 municipalities as well as the rest of the state.
He added that it will also bring new revenue to other commercial and service sectors in Guanajuato to the benefit of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses.
The industry and trade undersecretary for the federal Secretariat of Economy, Ernesto Acevedo, said the investment is a visionary and strategic move with respect to the current global economy and also strengthens ties between Mexico and Japan.
Although the Mexican auto industry saw declines in 2019, and the trend will most likely continue into this year, the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is expected to bring more certainty and growth to an important sector of the economy.
On top of the initial investment, Toyota plans to commit another $247 million to the plant over the next nine years.
As for the security situation in the state, Toyota Mexico’s director of legal and institutional relations, Luis Lozano, said that it is a matter of collaborating constantly with local authorities.
“We’re aware that there is a security issue and we’re taking measures to improve the situation,” he said.
Guanajuato saw more homicides than any other state in Mexico in 2019 with 3,540.
Source: Milenio (sp)