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Three-Year Toyota Building Freeze to End

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Toyota Corolla S

The end of the building freeze means more capacity to build models like the best-selling Corolla

Three years ago, Toyota announced a building freeze after a long period of expansion. The freeze, which was originally set to run through March 2016, will come to an early end, according to reports from “people familiar with the matter,” says the Wall Street Journal. This information coincides with that which was originally leaked back in January, and will involve the building and expansion of plants in both China and Mexico.

Related: Toyota Becomes an Official Sponsor of the Olympic Games

Reports state that Toyota will invest a total of $1.25 billion on factories in the two countries. The plants, which would begin operations around 2018 or 2019, will help increase Toyota’s production capacity by hundreds of thousands of vehicles.

The freeze was introduced by president Akio Toyoda in 2012, after the automaker went through a phase of rapid expansion which left its plants with excess capacity and high fixed costs. Now, with demand on the rise once again, Toyota plants are once again running at full capacity, hence the need for an expansion.

2016 Toyota Tacoma CAS

Demand for trucks is on the rise and expected to continue with the introduction of the 2016 Tacoma

In the three years since the freeze was introduced, Toyota has been working hard to find more efficient ways to build its vehicles, including laser welding machines and press equipment designed to help shorten production lines. Toyota is likely to introduce this technology at its existing plants over the next few years, as well as the new plants in Mexico and China.

Related: Five Things You Should Know about the Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle

Toyota’s plan for 2015 is to build 10.21 million vehicles worldwide, and sell 10.15 of those vehicles. It’s already been a successful first quarter here in the United States, but time will only tell whether or not this is a realistic plan.

News Source: Wall Street Journal