Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the giant Japanese car maker, plans to increase its sales proportion from emerging countries to 50% by 2015 from 42.1% last year.
"Toyota's global vision is to strengthen its core models [pickup trucks and passenger cars] in emerging countries and expand our hybrid models," said Kyoichi Tanada, the president of Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT), the local unit of TMC.
Toyota sold 8,717,300 automobiles worldwide last year including 3,674,000 in emerging markets. Globally, 82.5 million cars were sold last year.
Toyota's Thailand plants are running at their maximum annual capacity of 700,000 vehicles, he said.
It operates four factories in Thailand including a 12-billion-baht facility at Gateway 2 in Chachoengsao that started operations in January.
The new plant will become fully operational this quarter, with an annual capacity of 300,000 cars.
Last year, Toyota sold 516,086 vehicles in the Thai market, up by 78% from 2011, while export sales totalled 405,892 vehicles, up by nearly 62%, boosted by the tax rebate for first-time buyers.
In March, Toyota opened its second automobile plant in Indonesia, this one in Karawang, West Java. The US$340-million plant will increase Toyota's Indonesian annual production capacity to 250,000 cars from 110,000.
In 2012, Toyota produced 8,736,500 cars worldwide, of which 2,565,700 were made in Asia.
Toyota is also keen on Thailand due to its Asean research and development centre built here, said Mr Tanada.
Once the Asean Economic Community is formed in 2016, Toyota has an auto parts exchange project to source content from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, he added.
About the author
- Writer: Piyachart Maikaew
Position: Business Reporter