Bloomberg News

Toyota Looks at Carmaking Abroad as Yen Causes ‘Difficult Time’

October 10, 2011

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s biggest carmaker, may expand production outside Japan as the yen’s gains on currency markets reduce earnings.

“We are struggling,” Chief Financial Officer Satoshi Ozawa said today in an interview at the automaker’s factory in Ovar, Portugal. “We are facing a difficult time. We have to reduce our production costs to compensate for the currency situation,” and that may involve shifting manufacturing from the home market of Japan “to some extent.”

The euro’s decline since April to a decade low against the yen this month is reducing export earnings at the Toyota City, Japan-based carmaker and competitors. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co., said on Oct. 6 that Japan may endure a “hollowing out” of its industrial base should the government fail to take steps to counter its currency’s gains.

Toyota’s production locations abroad as of the end of March included 50 sites in 26 countries and regions, according to the company’s website. The company said on Oct. 6 that it’s hiring more than 100 people at its European regional headquarters in Brussels for research and development, sales and administration.

Ozawa was at the plant in Ovar for its 40th anniversary and to see its 100,000th Dyna truck roll off the assembly line today. The factory also makes the Hiace van.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, Thomas Mulier

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Ovar, Portugal, via halmeida5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net


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