Toyota Considers Low-Cost Cars For Emerging Markets

Automaker reportedly considering a new plant to make low-cost, small cars for emerging markets, but hasn't decided on the location, production capacity and the timeline.

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it is considering building a new plant to make low-cost, small cars for emerging markets.

The automaker, which has announced plans to open a small-car plant in India, is in the early stage of planning for a second factory in an emerging country, a company spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

Toyota has not decided details such as the location, production capacity and the timeline for the plant, she said.

The Tokyo Shimbun regional newspaper reported Wednesday that Toyota is eyeing a factory in Brazil for a launch in 2011 for the fast-growing auto markets in South America.

Toyota plans to invest tens of billions of yen (billions of dollars) in the plant, which would have a production capacity of about 150,000-200,000 units a year, the newspaper said. The small sedan and hatchback models would be priced at around 1 million yen (US$9,540; euro6,170), the paper said.

Other top carmakers, including General Motors Corp. of the U.S. and Nissan Motor Co., are also working on cheap cars targeting India and other emerging markets.

The Renault-Nissan French and Japanese auto alliance said Monday it's forming a joint venture with Bajaj Auto Ltd. of India to develop, make and sell an inexpensive car there with a starting price around US$2,500 (euro1,600).

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