Toyota wants to make North America a big exporter as the automaker gets hit by a strong yen that has eroded profits on vehicles shipped from Japan.
The Japanese currency has risen by almost 10% against the US dollar in the past nine months, making Toyota’s cars more expensive to foreign buyers. Toyota Motor Corp. currently exports to 19 different countries from North America.
The start was made with Camry exports from the United States to South Korea, instead of shipping them from neighboring Japan. In 2010, the latest year for which data is available, Toyota exported 16,700 vehicles from the United States to 19 countries, mainly in the Middle East.
Including markets in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) zone, exports totaled 100,000 vehicles, the company said.
The carmaker has been hit by a variety of issues and to make matters worse, Toyota has faced increasing competition, not just from US and European carmakers but also from South Korean manufacturers such as Hyundai, which have been making inroads into the US market.
As a result, Toyota is looking to ramp up its line-up by rolling out 19 new or refreshed models across the three brands.
This year Toyota will introduce its first pure electric car- iQ mocrocar and the RAV4 EV developed with Tesla Motors Inc.
In 2011, Toyota proved a better bet than the General Motors or Ford Motor Corp. In 2012 we will see.