TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will build a third automobile factory in Brazil to meet soaring demand in Latin America.
The world's largest automaker will invest about $600 million for a new plant in Sao Paulo. Toyota already operates two factories there that produce Corolla compact cars and Hilux sport utility vehicles.
"Auto demand in Brazil and neighboring countries keeps growing. We see huge potential for growth in the region," said Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma.
Overall automobile sales in Brazil hit 3.14 million in 2009, up 11 percent from a year earlier. Toyota sold a record 95,000 vehicles, up 18 percent year-on-year, Homma said.
Toyota said the new plant will begin operations in 2012 with annual production capacity of 70,000 vehicles. The new factory will employ about 1,500 workers.