DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Corp. wants to boost capacity in Mexico, but a key executive declined to give a timeline for a new plant.
Toyota board member Mark Hogan, a former General Motors executive, said the automaker wants to add "more production capacity" in Mexico. But he said the plant might build a vehicle that would help Toyota increase share in Mexico and Latin America rather than one dedicated to the United States.
Toyota has a 5 percent market share in Mexico, which "woefully underperforms" the company's brand image and expectations there, Hogan said in a press briefing at Toyota's global hybrid vehicle event here.
Among Toyota vehicles sold in the United States, the only mass-market vehicles that require Japanese production are partial volumes of the RAV4, and the full allotment of Priuses.
Hogan declined to discuss which vehicle might be built in Mexico, or whether moving Prius assembly to the United States would result in production of a U.S.-made vehicle moving to Mexico.
Toyota's new plant in Blue Springs, Miss., initially was to build the Prius before the factory was commissioned to assemble the Corolla.
"A lot of OEMs are going to Mexico," Hogan said. "Our production has to increase for our share to increase."
Toyota has a long-standing final assembly plant for the Tacoma pickup in Tijuana, Mexico. It recently signed a deal with Mazda to get 50,000 annual units of the Mazda2 subcompact, which will replace the Yaris in Toyota's lineup, made in Salamanca, Mexico.