GUANAJUATO, Mexico—Opening its purse after a three-year expansion freeze, Toyota Motor Corp. said it plans to spend nearly $1.5 billion on a new factory in Mexico and a new line in China to support sales growth in key markets and underpin a global overhaul in the way it builds vehicles.
The new facilities will deploy low-cost manufacturing processes and be the first in the world designed and built from the ground up to handle Toyota's new modular platforms.
Together, the expansions will boost Toyota's global capacity by 300,000 vehicles a year, from around 9.8 million units. That will give the world's biggest automaker more wiggle room on a tight global utilization rate pushing 90 percent. That compares with 70 percent in 2009.
The $1 billion Mexico plant will be in the central state of Guanajuato and make the next-generation Corolla small car. It will open in 2019, with a capacity of 200,000 vehicles a year.
In China, Toyota will invest about $440 million to add a third line to its plant in Guangzhou. That will start in 2017, adding 100,000 units of capacity, Toyota said in a statement.