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Toyota Eyes More North American Capacity

Toyota Motor said it is considering expanding its manufacturing capacity in North America and is reviewing locations.

"We are looking at sites," spokesman Dan Sieger said, but declined to reveal details.

Toyota, which saw U.S. sales rise 13% in the industry's largest market, will have the annual capacity to build about 2 million cars and trucks by 2008 in 15 plants across North America.

The Japanese automaker is rapidly gaining U.S. market share, outpacing DaimlerChrysler in 2006 to grab the No. 3 spot.

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The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported on Thursday that Toyota may name a site in the southern United States for its eighth North American assembly plant as early as this month.

Toyota is considering three-to-five locations, including Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Marion, Arkansas, the Journal said. Other sources told the paper that a location near Alamo, Tennessee and in North Carolina also are possibilities.

The new plant would have annual manufacturing capacity of 200,000 vehicles and start production in 2009, sources told the Journal.

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