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Toyota confirms plan to build 1st Myanmar assembly plant

Toyota Motor Corp. on May 30 confirmed that it is building its first production facility in Myanmar, where it plans to produce its Hilux pickup trucks starting February 2021.

To support the plan, the Japanese carmaker said it will spend $52.6 million to establish Toyota Myanmar Co. Ltd., its first production company in the country. Toyota will own 85% of the new entity, with its financing unit, Toyota Tsusho Corp., holding the remaining 15%.

The announcement comes just days after a report in the Nikkei Asian Review said the company will build its first assembly plant in Myanmar's Thilawa Special Economic Zone. The facility reportedly will manufacture up to about 10,000 pickup trucks every year. At the time, a Toyota spokesperson told S&P Global Market Intelligence that no decisions have been made.

Meanwhile, in its announcement, Toyota confirmed that the plant will be established at the economic zone in June, with Yoshihisa Tonozuka named as managing director. However, the carmaker said the facility is only expected to produce 2,500 Hilux model vehicles annually.

Toyota said it will hire approximately 130 employees for the planned site, without disclosing whether the number includes plant employees or administrative staff. Operations at the plant are expected to commence in 2021.

The company already has a presence in Myanmar, where it sells the Hilux, Vios, Rush and other vehicles through imports.