DETROIT (AP) - Toyota Motor Corp. is concerned that it has built too many factories in the U.S. and is considering a slowdown in its plans for further plant building here, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday.
Although Toyota's U.S. sales continue to grow, executives worry about an uncertain outlook, the newspaper reported.
Additionally, a cheap yen has made it more profitable for the company to produce cars in Japan and ship them to the U.S., according to a senior executive and management-board member the Journal didn't identify by name.
Tomomi Imai, a spokesman for Toyota in Tokyo, declined to comment on the report.
In Japan, most of Toyota's factories are clustered in a single place, Toyota City. Over the past decade, Toyota has spread American-based factories from Fremont, California, to Georgetown, Kentucky.
''Toyota has just announced the new Mississippi plant, where production is set to start in 2010,'' Imai told The Associated Press. ''As for North American plants after that, nothing has been decided.''
The assembly plant on the outskirts of Tupelo, Mississippi, will be Toyota's eighth North American vehicle-assembly plant and the fourth new one in the past five years.
Toyota's decisions to add plants in the U.S. always have involved more than maximizing manufacturing efficiency. The automaker regards building more vehicles in the U.S. as a form of political insurance. The company long has been concerned about a resurgence of trade tensions.