Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will build its first assembly plant in Myanmar to produce Hilux pickup trucks from February 2021.
The auto giant plans to establish its Myanmar unit, Toyota Myanmar Co., in June and construct a new plant in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in the southern suburbs of Yangon at a cost of $52.6 million (¥5.7 billion).
Toyota will hire about 130 employees to build some 2,500 units of Hilux pickup trucks annually amid strong demand for new vehicles on the back of the country’s rapid economic growth.
“Toyota will strive to provide products and services that continue to meet the needs of customers in Myanmar,” the automaker said in a statement.
In Myanmar, an emerging Southeast Asian economy with a population of around 50 million, new vehicle sales more than doubled to 17,500 units in 2018 from the previous year, according to the Automotive Association of Myanmar.
Toyota, which has been exporting finished cars to Myanmar, said it decided to launch local production amid expectations for further expansion in the country’s auto market. Tighter import restrictions on used cars have also led to increased demand for new vehicles in the nation.
Duties and caps on imported cars in Myanmar also prompted Toyota to locally make its vehicles, according to sources familiar with the matter.