Toyota May Shift Korean-Market Camry Production to U.S.

In an effort to fight the increasing strength of the yen, Toyota may move production of South-Korea-bound Camry models to the U.S., according to Reuters. If realized, the move would allow Toyota to utilize the free trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea, which would reduce export costs that would normally hurt the automaker’s bottom line. Last year, Toyota sold more than 4200 Camrys in the Korean market.

The yen’s rising strength has prompted Japan’s manufacturers, which have relied mostly on exports in the past, to seek out other production options. A strong yen cuts into Toyota’s earnings in foreign markets, and also drives up costs of Japanese-made goods in general. Based on a report from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei Business Week, Reuters says Toyota is considering moving production of the Korean-market 2012 Camry to its plant in Georgetown, Ky.

Although Toyota may move Camry assembly overseas, the automaker has pledged to keep a minimum level of production in its home country of Japan, to ensure the island nation remains a global center of manufacturing. Building Camrys for the Korean market at the Georgetown plant shouldn’t prove to be too difficult, as the Kentucky factory already produces almost every U.S.-market Camry sold – 203,688 units last year, to be exact. Output of Korean Camry models would be comparatively smaller, but still significant for the South Korean market, as the Camry was among the top-selling foreign cars in the country.

Source: Reuters

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