Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has launched production and sale of a new pickup truck in Thailand, its first step in building a global supply network.

The Hilux Vigo is the first of five newly developed models to be produced in Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa and Argentina that will be sold in more than 140 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, Latin America and the Middle East, Toyota said.

The five models comprise three pickup trucks, a minivan and a sport utility vehicle, it said.

Toyota said it aims to generate annual production of more than 500,000 vehicles in 2006 in 10 countries, including the four nations.

The Thailand plant will also produce SUVs in 2005 for a total output of 280,000 vehicles annually, with 140,000 to be exported to countries in Asia, Europe and Oceania, it said.

Toyota’s Indonesian operation will include output of minivans in September and aims for annual yield of 80,000 units, with 10,000 to be exported.

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