Leading Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp.
plans to boost production at its key U.S. plant in the state of Kentucky,
informed sources said Wednesday.
The plant currently has annual production capacity of 500,000 units, the largest of any Toyota plant worldwide.
The automaker hopes to boost sales in the North American market by expanding local output now that it has recovered from a series of large-scale vehicle recalls and a production plunge following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda will announce the plan at a press conference to be held in New York on Friday, the sources said.
The Kentucky plant launched operations in 1988 and is the oldest of Toyota's seven North American vehicle plants currently in operation.
It mainly produces the Camry sedan and the Avalon luxury sedan.
Toyota's U.S. sales stood at 2.08 million units in 2012, up 26.6 pct from the previous year. It has set a sales target of 2.2 million units this year.
The company decided to expand capacity at the Kentucky plant as its U.S. plants are almost at full operation and North American production bases may be used for exports to Asia and the Middle East, the sources said.
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