Industryweek 5131 Toyota Manufacturing

Toyota Plans Push for More Sales in Brazil, Mexico

Aug. 29, 2013
"Toyota is an extremely strong brand in Brazil but it underperforms in the market," said Mark Hogan, the first American to serve on Toyota's board of directors.

DETROIT - Toyota (IW 1000/8) said Wednesday that it plans a new push to boost its market share in Latin America, saying it underperforms in Brazil and Mexico, the region's largest economies.

Mark Hogan, former president of Magna International and former General Motors (IW 500/5) executive, who on June 1 became the first American to serve on Toyota's board of directors, told reporters that Toyota needs to expand its footprint in the two countries.

"Toyota is an extremely strong brand in Brazil but it underperforms in the market," Hogan told reporters during a Toyota press event.

"We only have an about 5% market share. It should be higher," he said.

"Brazil is a very important market for Toyota," added Hogan, who said one of his assignments as a new board member is to expand the company's foothold in Latin America.

Toyota needs more production capacity in Brazil as well as in Mexico, said Hogan, who worked in Brazil when he was with GM.

"We also need a new entry level product in Brazil," he added.

Toyota is now building its third assembly plant in Brazil.

He said the company also needs more capacity in Mexico, where its market share is also about 5%.

"We have a terrific dealer body but we also underperform in Mexico," added Hogan.

Toyota also has entered into partnership with Mazda (IW 1000/195) to open a new assembly plant in San Luis Petosi, Mexico, in 2014, he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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