NAGOYA, July 24 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. plans to shift part of its production of luxury Lexus sport utility vehicles from southwestern Japan to a plant in Canada, officials of the Japanese automaker said Tuesday.
The targeted RX SUV is sold mainly in the North American market. Transferring the production overseas from a Toyota subsidiary's plant in Fukuoka Prefecture is expected to help the company withstand the impact of the strong yen.
Toyota plans to beef up output at the Canadian plant in 2014 and the latest production shift is expected to total about 30,000 units.
Toyota Motor Kyushu Inc.'s Miyata plant in Miyawaka, Fukuoka Prefecture, which mainly produces the Lexus series, manufactured a total of approximately 300,000 units in fiscal 2011 ended March with the RX comprising about 70,000 of them.
Despite the RX production shift, the overall output at the Miyata plant is unlikely to change in scope as the loss is expected to be compensated by production of other vehicle models.
At the plant, which already began full-fledged production of the remodeled Lexus ES sedan for overseas markets on July 6, Toyota is aiming for an output target of 350,000 in fiscal 2012.
Toyota has said it will maintain its annual domestic production level at 3 million units, but is also pursuing ways to create a foundation that is not easily affected by the exchange rate.
The automaker announced in February it will shift production of the Highlander SUV to a U.S. plant from the Miyata plant in the latter half of 2013, and also said in June it will transfer the production of Yaris to France from its Nagakusa plant in Aichi Prefecture in May 2013.