Toyota Plans New North American Plant in Ontario

Tokyo, May 10 (Jiji Press)--Toyota Motor Corp. is finalizing a decision to build its seventh North American vehicle assembly plant possibly in southern Ontario, Canada, The Asian Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The top Japanese automaker "has chosen a site near Woodstock, Ontario, to build a new assembly plant," the paper quoted Toyota executives familiar with the matter as saying. The move, pending approval from the company's management board, is likely to be an agenda item for the board's monthly meeting in late June, it said.

The new plant in Ontario will most likely build a number of small vehicles, including youth-oriented Scion-brand models, it said.

The paper also quoted the executives as saying that Toyota, in a separate move, is considering manufacturing a hybrid version of the Camry sedan in Kentucky, starting as early as 2006.

The automaker is also looking at the possibility of producing the Prius gasoline-electric car or a hybrid version of the Corolla sedan in North America as early as next year, possibly at a plant in California of its joint venture with General Motors Corp., known as New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI, the paper said.

According to the paper, Toyota "also plans to step up its search for a site for a No. 8 North American plant once it gets the board's approval for the Woodstock plant."