Toyota mulls Saudi Arabia production

The Yomiuri Shimbun Toyota Motor Corp. will conduct a joint survey with the Saudi Arabian government to explore the feasibility of local production in Saudi Arabia.

It will exchange a memorandum with the Saudi Arabian government as early as Tuesday, on the occasion of King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s visit to Japan from Sunday.

To move away from being an oil-dependent economy, Saudi Arabia is aiming to diversify and nurture its industries, including manufacturing. It is particularly keen to attract the automobile industry.

According to research company Fourin, Inc., the automobile market in Saudi Arabia has grown year by year, with the number of car sales reaching about 880,000 units in 2015.

Toyota has exported cars to Saudi Arabia from Japan and other places, and holds the largest share of the local market, accounting for about 30 percent. It therefore has expectations of high demand.

At the same time, Japan relies on Saudi Arabia for 30 percent of its crude oil imports. The Japanese government therefore intends to aid Toyota’s expansion in that country.

Isuzu Motors Ltd. has produced midsize trucks in Saudi Arabia since 2012.

However, it is considered difficult for companies to operate in Saudi Arabia, because of a lack of supporting industries such as auto parts manufacturers. Toyota will make a careful study of the feasibility of commercialization. Speech

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