As Toyota moves production of the Corolla south of the border, it will retool its plant in Cambridge, Ontario, where the Corolla is currently manufactured. The Canadian plant will then be transformed to build a midsize vehicle that has not yet been named.
Toyota's move to Mexico has been widely anticipated as the automaker indicated last year it would resume its global expansion after a three-year halt to adding new plants.
The pause in adding production while Volkswagen continued its global expansion is one reason why the German automaker has closed the gap in sales between itself and Toyota, the world's leading auto manufacturer.
Most of the Corollas built in Mexico will be exported north to the U.S. and Canada. Adding another plant outside of Japan will help the company further offset the impact a strong yen if the Japanese currency rebounds in the future.
Mexico is rapidly becoming a major auto exporter. This year, the country will produce more than 3.3 million vehicles and most will be exported to North and South America.
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Due to NAFTA, trade agreements with several other countries and its central location in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico has become an ideal location for production expansion by automakers. The country's lower labor costs also makes Mexican auto plants more profitable to operate.
"Our next-generation production facility in Mexico will be a model for the future of global manufacturing and set a new standard for innovation and excellence," Lentz said.