Toyota struggling in Latin American market, attempting recovery

August 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , South America With uncertainty in the US and Chinese markets, automakers are scrambling to rev up their efforts in what were traditionally secondary markets. Take Toyota’s efforts in Latin America. A recent story from The Wall Street Journal highlights the Japanese brand’s push in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Brazil, where it has expanded its operations and installed new executives with a greater range of powers, all in a bid to grab a bigger slice of the ever-growing South American pie. South America is dominated by General Motors , Fiat and Volkswagen , which maintain a combined 60 percent of the market share – Toyota holds a mere 4.5 percent. The WSJ spoke with Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s boss in Latin America, who said, “We are playing catch up, but we’re catching up fast. We now have the resources to give the region the attention it really needs and deserves.” That attention includes an all-new, locally produced small car called the Etios. As bewildering as it seems, Toyota wasn’t competing in the low-cost economy car market in South America. With the Etios , which arrived in September of 2012, its sales in the first seven months of 2013 are up 75 percent. Toyota is also expanding on its local infrastructure, which includes the $600 million Sorocabo factory, located near S

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