Toyota to Invest US$328 Million in Adaptation of Guanajuato Plant

Mexico News Daily Staff

Japanese carmaker Toyota will invest another US$328 million in its plant in Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, to adapt its production processes to build its recently announced new hybrid Tacoma truck. President of Toyota México Luis Lozano Olivares announced the investment at a meeting with Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo on Thursday, during the governor’s tour of Japan.

The new hybrid Toyota Tacoma pickup will be manufactured in Guanajuato, although the vehicles will be exported to the U.S. and Canada. 

“This is how Toyota reaffirms its commitment to Mexico after more than 20 years of operations in the country, not only with constant investment, but also through the generation of quality jobs and improvement of automotive technology,” Lozano said.

The company said the new initiative would bring its total investment in the Guanajuato plant up to US$1.2 billion since its construction in 2011, noting that the plant currently employs more than 2,500 people. Sinhue also met with Honda executives in Japan, who also discussed the expansion of their plant in Celaya, Guanajuato. “They informed us that they have continued to invest in their Celaya plant, to reach an accumulated investment of US$1.58 billion and 4,600 jobs created,” the governor said. “That’s trust in Guanajuato!”

In Toyota’s case, converting its Guanajuato plant to produce hybrid vehicles is an important part of the company’s electrification strategy, as carmakers around the world move towards more climate-friendly electric vehicles (EVs). However, the Tacoma trucks that will be produced at the plant are mostly intended for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Mexico has become a key EV manufacturing hub in recent years, with other major investments including a planned Tesla factory in Nuevo León and a BMW EV plant in San Luis Potosí.

But EVs remain prohibitively expensive for most Mexicans and are impractical outside of major cities due to a lack of charging stations. Only 2,022 hybrid or electric vehicles were sold in Mexico during the first two months of this year, a third of those in Mexico City. 

In 2022, only 0.5% of vehicles sold in Mexico were fully electric, a percentage that falls well below other markets such as China, Europe, and the United States.

Mexican Automotive Industry Confirms Recovery in Production, Exports, and Sales

By Israel Molina

Based on information published by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA), and the Mexican Association of Automotive Distributors (AMDA), the report on total sales of new light vehicles by brand has been released, and the information is available on the website of each association.

In May 2023, the sale of new light vehicles in Mexico reached 102,697 units, which is 12.6% higher than the number of units sold in the same month of the previous year, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi). Meanwhile, during the January-May 2023 period, a total of 515,433 new light vehicles were sold, representing a 20.4% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

May continues the upward trend in the production and export of light vehicles from Mexico.

AMIA revealed the report on production, exports, and domestic sales of light vehicles for the month of May, based on information published by Inegi. During May, the upward trend in the production and export of light vehicles from Mexico continued.

«This confirms the steady and sustained progress towards the recovery of the industry. If this pace continues, it is very likely that this year we will reach pre-pandemic levels. This reaffirms Mexico as one of the main countries in both production and exports worldwide, and one of the countries showing the best signs of recovery in the automotive industry,» stated the association.

In March 2023, sales of hybrid and electric vehicles increased by 13.9% compared to March 2022. During March 2023, the sale of hybrid and electric vehicles reached 5,012 units, which is 13.9% higher than the same month in 2022, reported AMIA.

Furthermore, the sales in March 2023 consisted of 3,472 hybrids, 1,051 electric vehicles, and 489 plug-in hybrids. In 2023, a total of 13,861 vehicles with this type of technology have been sold in the domestic market, representing 4.4% of the total sales of light vehicles in the country during January-March.