Which country is Toyota’s second largest export hub? If all goes according to the wishes of Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North America, then that will be North America. Toyota has an annual production capacity of 1.8 million vehicles in the U.S. alone and wants to export increasing numbers to the world, Inaba told The Nikkei [sub].
According to Inaba,
“The U.S. has thick layers of parts suppliers. It has a huge workforce, and energy costs are falling as the development of shale gas and other types of natural gas progress. In other words, the U.S. offers both quality and cost advantages in everything from raw materials to assembly.”
Some of Toyota’s export destinations are surprising:
“South Korea, which has forged a free trade agreement with the U.S., comes to my mind. But its scale is small. Exporting to Russia and Australia makes better sense, given that we make larger vehicles favored by U.S. consumers anyway and if trading terms are taken into account. Trucks can be shipped to the Middle East. We must think of exporting to China, too, even though our production capacity is large there.”
Non-U.S. companies are taking the lead in exporting from the U.S. Last month, we heard that the BMW Group is the country’s largest automotive exporter to non-NAFTA countries.