Toyota Motor Corp. plans to build a fourth North American engine plant as expanding vehicle production sparks demand for more engines and transmissions.
A site search is now under way, and locations in Tennessee, Mississippi and other states are being considered. A company spokesman said there is no timetable for when the plant would be up and running.
The project illustrates the predicament facing the world's No. 2 automaker. Toyota's growing vehicle output is outpacing its powertrain production as sales increase globally.
In North America, Toyota is building an auto plant in Woodstock, Ontario, where it will produce the RAV4 SUV.
The automaker has expanded production of Tacoma pickups in North America. And Toyota is studying a plan to add vehicle production at Subaru Automotive of Indiana Inc. in Lafayette, Ind. Last month, Toyota acquired an 8.7 percent interest in Subaru's Japanese parent, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.