Business / Corporate

Toyota to consolidate compact car production in northeastern Japan

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. will consolidate its compact car production in northeastern Japan in an effort to boost efficiency by manufacturing models of similar size in close proximity and using common parts for different vehicles, company sources said Wednesday.

Toyota Industries Corp., a subsidiary based in Aichi Prefecture, will begin transferring the production of the automaker’s mainstay Vitz compact model to Toyota Motor East Japan Inc. in Miyagi Prefecture around 2017 and complete the relocation between 2019 and 2020, the sources said.

After the transfer, Toyota Industries will focus on production of sport utility vehicles that are selling well in the United States and other markets.

Toyota Motor East Japan will specialize in manufacturing compact cars and move production of the Corolla midsize sedan to the Takaoka plant operated by the parent company in Aichi Prefecture.

The Miyagi plant will continue to produce some SUV models to reduce risks from fluctuations in demand for compact cars.

Meanwhile, Toyota Auto Body Co. in Aichi Prefecture will end production of the Prius hybrid car later this month and focus on minivans and SUVs.

The Takaoka factory and Tsutsumi plant operated by the parent will take over output of Prius.

Under an initiative called “Toyota New Global Architecture,” the major automaker has been promoting its strategy of using common parts across different models. The new Prius that will be launched in December will be the first global vehicle to be manufactured on this platform.